A Dry Place
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
It's almost CHRISTMAS!!! Do those words inspire you with hope...or panic? In spite of – and perhaps partly because of - the season, the past week has been a dry place for me without a lot of inspiration of any kind. How can it be that I am thinking about celebrating the birth of Jesus, but feeling nothing? As I have sought God’s presence asking to hear his voice each morning, all I hear are the echoes of all the things that are drawing my attention away from him. To be honest, my mind has been more occupied with taking care of “more urgent” concerns, and I have run around exhausting myself instead of focusing on him. The time I have spent in prayer has been more distracted than devoted. Which begs the question, was he really silent, or was my mind just too crowded to listen? And how do I fix that while I am still in the midst of it?
One of my morning devotionals today talked about being in a place of darkness, and how God does some of his best work in us when we can’t see or feel what he is doing. The dark places are times when we are seeking diligently but can’t see our way through our situation. The dry places are times when we are trying to seek Him but, because of fatigue or other distractions, we just can’t even muster the energy, so it feels forced and fruitless. It is a fine distinction with the same result: feeling separated from the One who loves us; the One who can address every need, every care, every fear and every concern; the One whose presence can change everything.
In the darkness we cry out, “Father, where are you? I need you!” In the dry places, we whisper, “Father, I know I need you, but I don’t even feel that! I am numb and I miss you. Please come find me.” Either way, he hears us and meets us where we are. We may not immediately feel his presence, but if we continue to press in, He is faithful to show up because our perseverance pleases him. He loves it when our hearts authentically long for his presence. His Word promises that he rewards those who seek him. After all, the teacher is always silent during the test.
Prayer: Lord, help me to truly, deeply, honestly focus on you today. Holy Spirit, fill me and quiet my soul amidst the turmoil so I can feel your presence and hear your voice. I miss you and want to be with you because I love you above all else, in Jesus' name, amen.
“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (Emphasis added)
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.”