If you’ve been walking with Jesus for some time now, you are likely familiar with the concept of a “dry season” with God. Praying is hard, motivation to read the Bible is gone, and simply put, God feels far away.
As my semester waned and summer began, my relationship with Jesus went through one of these dry spells. It was frustrating, fruitless, and left me angry with myself. As much as I wanted to talk to Jesus and read His word, I couldn’t find the motivation. The times I was able to motivate myself to read, I became bored and distracted a few paragraphs in. But more than getting distracted, I let silly things get in my way of spending quality time with God. In other words, I was making excuses instead of making time.
This brought me immense frustration and made me feel like a failure. To demonstrate this frustration and perceived defeat, here is an excerpt from a journal entry of mine from 12 days ago:
- I’ve been [in] a frustratingly dry place with God for quite some time now. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what to do either. Do I keep pushing and persevering and pursuing or do I give myself grace for my spiritual dryness? I feel like sitting back and doing nothing and simply waiting for God to act is not an option. I just feel so lost and upset about it all. I want to pray and meditate on scripture and spend time abiding with God but I either get up too early to do that or wake up too late [on] my off-days from tiredness. And my house is small, so spare rooms are occupied at all times and I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO? Am I not trying hard enough to spend time w/ Jesus or is He just distant?
I go on for a while after that with more questions and desperate sentences. I remember feeling the weight of that frustration and failure while writing that journal entry. Why was I letting myself be so lazy? Why was I lacking the discipline and desire I once had? Why was I making excuses and acting so helpless? All these thoughts, questions, and feelings ultimately turned into a resolve to get off my butt and pursue the Lord wholeheartedly once again.
The next day I read chapter one of John, then closed my eyes and prayed. I didn’t say much to God, but I asked Him to speak and meet me here once again. And He did.
Here are the morsels of truth and important reminders God shared with me that afternoon as I sat in my backyard, sweaty from the mid-day heat:
- The wonderful truth and reminder that “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16).
- “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
- “I’ll never be more loved than I am right now” (first line of “Jireh” by Maverick City Music and Elevation Worship).
- “I’m literally hanging out with the God of the universe” (my own thoughts).
- Jesus = grace and truth (John 1:14,17)
The big theme of that day was grace. God is always reminding me of His grace, and this grace reminds me perfection is not required nor does He expect it. Although my last blog post was about God’s desire to know us more than receive perfection from us, it’s a truth that we (especially us perfectionists) need to be reminded of on the daily.
Since that day of reconnecting with God, He has reminded me of many other wonderful truths. I would list them all out for you but I already tried and there were simply too many. The list would go on and on. God is just that good, and the words of this blog post could never say enough.
If you find yourself in a dry spot with God, I want to remind you of James 4:8a, which reads, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” This verse has served as both an encouragement and reminder. Our time with God may feel like a chore at first, but it is life-giving and soul-restoring. He constantly pursues; we just need to let Him in and give Him space to work.
Another verse that has encouraged me is Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” As much as I hated my dry season while I was going through it, it brought me to a place of seeking the Lord with my entire being once again. No more half-hearted reading of the Bible and praying out of obligation. I began spending time with Jesus because I wanted to.
As you continue your week, I pray your hunger would be satisfied by the Bread of Life and that your thirst may be quenched by His living water.
Grace and peace,