By Mike Gilland
It happens to us all – and it may be going on in you this very moment. “It” doesn’t have to be tied to a traumatic event, or even a difficult set of circumstances. I am referring to a sense in our hearts that is best described as a “dry time” in our relationship with the Lord.
Most of us have experienced times when our walk with Jesus seemed fresh, exuberant, and dynamic. But my personal experience tells me that most of us live this side of that kind of existence, a place where we have a greater sense of what we wish were happening in our devotional lives than what we are actually living out in real life. If this describes where you are today… read on – you are not alone!
First of all, it is helpful to face the problem head-on, and look for the telltale symptoms of this common condition. They include:
- an apathetic view toward reading your Bible;
- a listless prayer life;
- a general sense of malaise with regards to your faith for the things of God;
- a “blueness” or depression, a sense of loss when it comes to your faith.
Again, these are common temptations that we all face at one time or another. While we contribute to some of our own woes through disobedience, we should also remember that we have an enemy – an outside source that would love for us to turn away from our faith. We have a real foe – the devil is that “roaring lion” described by Jesus to Peter, and he is on a mission to do whatever he can to discourage us!
When I am in a dry time, I have found that I need “face time”. No, not that neat iPhone app. I am referring to face time in the Word, and in helpful books. I need to be absorbing truth from God, not merely listening to the feelings coming from my dry soul. I have heard it said that “God delights in even the driest devotions.” Whether we realize it or not, God is honored when we are calling out to Him – He always hears us – even when we feel like we are in the driest of times.
A good second step is simple remembrance that Jesus loves us, and our relationship with Him was initiated by Him! Peter tells us that we have been called out of darkness – and into His marvelous light! (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus said that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…” (John 6:44 NIV). Remembering that He is the author and finisher of our faith is critical to jarring us out of that dry spot. He is for us. He began the good work in us. And He will be faithful to complete it!
Here is a great reminder from Paul David Tripp, “There’s never a point in your Christian life where you’re saved by your effort. You’re called to repent and believe, but saved by grace.” I did not save myself. Jesus loved me, and gave Himself for me!
Our hope is in the Lord. And that hope remains in place for you and me, even in the middle of a dry time. Let’s accept the invitation given to us by Jesus when He said, “Come to me, all who are weary… and I will give you rest…”
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.