It’s never easy to admit you are going through a spiritual drought.
At first glance, it would look like I could never have a day that is anything less than overflowing with spiritual fullness. My daily life is submerged in all things Jesus, from work, to school, to being a pastor’s wife, and everything in between.
That might be why it is so hard to be honest about going through a time of feeling like God is far away. It’s hard to be honest about my faith feeling empty.
The question of whether or not I should even be writing for Her & Hymn has flooded my mind countless times in the past few months. In the midst of my doubt about my ability to minister, I am reminded that I’m not the only one who has or who will experience a season like this.
There is no person, leader, influencer, or individual who is exempt from knowing the deep longing to want to draw closer to Jesus, but feeling like he is far away.
Here are some vital truths we must remember when we are in the midst of a spiritual drought.
1. You are not less of a Christian.
If you have ever felt like God is far away and there is nothing you can do to draw closer to him no matter how hard you try, don’t worry. You are not less of a Christian. This is a lie from the enemy that keeps you from seeking the face of Jesus.
Not only are you not less of a Christian, but great heroes of scripture experienced the same thing.
“I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me.”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” (Psalm 22:1–2)
Many Christians endure a season of drought in their faith. So you and I are not alone. You don’t have to be ashamed if you are going through this season. But you should be aware of it.
2. Never stop seeking.
If I’m being really honest, it has become very easy to go through the motions of handling the things in my life that just need to get done, and doing them without addressing the issue of spiritual drought in my heart. As easy as that is, I know it’s not the right one. I must continue to seek Jesus.
I must be honest about the condition of my heart before my Savior and know that he is the only solution.
The solution will never be to stop seeking him. I must trust and act on the promise that is scattered all throughout scripture, to seek him and he will be found.
In the moments when my soul is so painfully aware of how much I need more of Jesus, the only thing to do is seek more of him instead of growing numb and allowing spiritual dryness to become my permanent faith.
Of course, this seems like a no brainer. But I often let my mind take me down the path of thinking, “well I’ve tried that and it didn’t work.”
Our greatest fear in this season is not the season itself but the idea that we might allow our hearts to grow away from him. God is always with us and promises to never leave us. But we can still feel spiritually dry. Even in this season, God is at work. We must never forget that. He is drawing us closer to him and is deepening our faith, even when it feels like nothing is happening at all.
3. Seek Jesus and not a spiritual checklist.
Along with seeking Jesus comes analyzing your own heart to see if you are clinging to spiritual disciplines like a magic potion or if you are looking to truly seek Jesus.
I must admit, in my longing for some spiritual flame to ignite, I’ve opened the bible seeking a powerful word to pierce the drought within my soul…only to open up to a long genealogy. So I flip through the Psalms. But even the one I land on seems so obscure and disconnected.
It’s absolutely true that there is power in the word of God, in prayer, and other spiritual disciplines. But they are not Jesus. They are not the magic lamp we rub until rain falls in the midst of our drought.
We have to check our hearts and be sure that we are turning to spiritual disciplines to seek Jesus rather than simply a quick solution.
Trust me, I’m not saying to stop practicing spiritual disciplines. Scripture is clear that God uses them to grow us deeper in our faith. But we do need to be aware of the intentions of our heart as we come to spiritual disciplines.
Seasons of spiritual drought are real for Christians. And it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong in your faith. I’ve read plenty of articles that try to explain the reasons why you could be going through spiritual doubt. And some of them may be true, but it doesn’t always mean there is an apparent sin issue or faith issue.
Spiritual drought is not something to be ashamed of, but rather a time to seek Jesus all the more. We will never be in a season when we don’t need to seek Jesus with everything we have and be utterly and fully dependent upon him.
Seek him in the midst of your drought and be comforted that he will draw you nearer to him.