February 28th, Spiritual Drought

Drought is defined as, “a prolonged absence of something specified.” Interestingly it also defines it an an archaic sense as, “thirst”.   I’d be lying to you if I said I haven’t experienced spiritual “droughts” from time to time.  My personal feeling is, that even the holiest of holy men and women throughout history have experienced these.  Some more than others I dare say.  I think it’s safe to say that it’s normal for this to happen.  How we recognize that we are in a spiritual drought, how we handle it, and what we do about it is obviously important.  So is realizing that you don’t have to go through it alone.  There are many people out there who are willing to help.

There is an old saying, “the Devil will tell you 99 truths just to slip in and make you believe one lie.”  Spiritual droughts don’t happen overnight just like climatological drought.  They begin when you least expect.  The longer you go without rain, the harder for it is to rain because of a lack of moisture in the air.  Just like the easier it is for you to skip praying one day, it becomes easier to skip again and again and again.  The same can be said about attending church services.  The more one skips going, the easier it becomes to not go and the easier the excuses become in justify not going.

With everything that most parents have going on these days, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the world and skip prayer time for TV time or time ridiculously looking at your phone.  Yeah, I am guilty.  Each day it becomes easier to forget God and easier to glorify yourself.  Sunday comes around and you think, well I can skip church one Sunday, God will understand.  Yeah He understands alright.  Understands that we aren’t giving Him the credit He deserves.

My prayer life lately paralleled my depression.  The more depressed I became, the easier it was for me to not want to pray.  Of course that’s when I should have been praying the hardest.  There were times where I felt phony and hypocritical because I was only “going through the motions”.  That is to say, I was doing it even if my heart wasn’t in it.  I asked someone I know who’s a psychologist and he said that going through the motions is better than not doing anything at all.  Eventually “going through the motions” forms habit-good habit- that when the heart is ready, it will join with the body during prayer.  (Paraphrasing).

So how do we pull ourselves out of spiritual drought?  We don’t.  That is to say, we don’t on our own.  We do have to take some initial first steps though.  The first as I mentioned before was to recognize that we are there.  The next is to pray.  Pray for God’s Grace to help you through and help you out of it.  We can try all we want but we can’t do it without God’s grace.  We of course also need to repent.  Repentance is turning away from your old self to God again.  We must turn away from those things that we let distract us away from our prayer life.  Because like it or not, anything we say, think, or do that takes precedence over and before God is a sin against the the first commandment.

After that, then we must surrender ourselves to God.  Not just who we where but who we are now and who He wants us to be.   I have told people this many times before, When you fail to put God first, your life will be full of chaos.

It’s normal to go through spiritual hard times.  Don’t think it’s not, don’t despair if you do.  Rather recognize, pray, repent and surrender.

 

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