First I want to thank God for teaching me about spiritual dry spells. The first experience I had with a spiritual dry spell came when I’d never heard of such a thing, and it terrified me.
Spiritual dry spells happen, and they don’t mean you’re a bad person. God may be trying to teach you something, including possibly trying to teach you that it’s okay to take a break, or that it’s okay to realign your commitments to Him, but He hasn’t given up on you.
So what to do when you encounter a spiritual dry spell?
Well, I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer. But praying for guidance comes pretty close to being a universal treatment for spiritual dry spells of all kinds.
So I find myself in somewhat of a spiritual dry spell these days.
When I’m really walking in step with the Holy Spirit I feel like I don’t actually write this blog — He does. I’m just the typist.
Several times in the past I’ve taken short breaks of various kinds, or changed my patterns of blogging … and those were often in response to little spiritual dry spells — maybe not outright droughts, but noticeable dry spells.
Facing another little spiritual dry spell these days, I asked God what I should do about this blog. Should I take another break, maybe a longer break, maybe stay away from it altogether for a while. And, as happens many times, thank you Jesus, He answered me when I asked.
He whispered in my ear, “Write about it.”
“Huh? What? Write about the dry spell?” I prayed. But I need the Holy Spirit at my side holding my hand in order to know what to write.
“No you don’t,” was the answer.
So I came to realize that just as I had benefitted from learning that others experienced spiritual dry spells from time to time, maybe there is a benefit in testimony from the dry places as well.
So how am I experiencing this dry spell?
Well, I find myself feeling grumpy and un-centered a lot of the time. I feel distant and unsatisfied with my church’s sermons. I feel critical of the activities the church is focusing on now, critical of the newsletter, annoyed with the new Pastor, distant and somehow out of sorts.
I find myself getting behind on the Bible reading plans I’m participating in, not doing the homework on time for the class on Genesis that I was really excited about taking, and sometimes even skipping my normal morning chat with God.
When I do pray, I feel – not that God is ignoring me – but somehow more engaged with my head (doing it because I know I “should”) than with my heart … and God almost seems to respond in kind.
I’m not diagnosably depressed, but emotionally out of sorts … and physically out of sorts – not actually sick but never really feeling all that well either. My attention span is short, and small worldly things bother me more than they should.
And yet (this is the part where I actually experience my own growth in Christ…) instead of panicking about all these things my experience is that of a calm knowledge that, “This too shall pass.”
I know I need to remain alert and ready to follow God’s lead. I know I need to stay in touch with Him and keep asking, “Is there something You want me to do today?”
But I also don’t panic the way I remember doing when I first encountered spiritual dry spells. And I do still hear from God, as when he told me to keep writing.
Y’know … growing as a Christian is not for the faint of heart. It can take a lot of work, even when that work is not “works” per se, but rather more the work of learning how to communicate well with God. I don’t think any of us are born knowing that. I think we learn, just as we learn to communicate with a spouse or with anyone in any new relationship really.
So that’s my report from the dry side today.
Thank you for reading it.