Posted by: bellissimanh | March 4, 2009

Something’s Missing

The other night, Noah was kind of sad. At first, he didn’t know what was wrong, he just said, “I feel like something’s missing. It’s like there’s a hole in my heart.” After some gentle questioning and discussion, I realized that he hadn’t seen his sister Jessica in a couple of days, and he was missing her (insert “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw” here).

I got to thinking… that’s how I feel if I spend a couple of days away from the Father, away from His Word. Initially there’s an emptiness, an ache. I feel like something is missing… I’m incomplete.

If I were to let more days pass, however, eventually that ache would wane.. just a bit. It would become a new kind of “normal” for me and sadly, instead of absence making the heart grow fonder, it would lessen my grasp of the truth, my passion to live in the Father’s will, my desire to drink deeply at the well of living water He offers me.

Dry spells. I used to assume that they were a normal part of the Christian walk. I remember listening to a new believer bubble over with excitement over her quiet times and state that she couldn’t imagine NOT feeling this way. I thought to myself, “You just wait, honey… it will come. It happens to the best of us.”

How my heart breaks to think that I just assumed her enthusiasm would eventually taper off and that there was no avoiding those desert times. We’ve probably all experienced it… but we don’t HAVE to! And I believe it is bondage for us to think otherwise.

A few years back, I remember going through a period where I just felt like I was going through the motions. I got up each day and spent time in my Bible, in prayer… but it felt like my prayers were hitting the ceiling. In spite of my faithfulness to be in the Word, I didn’t feel the Lord speaking to me and I was miserable. My quiet time had become an obligation, rather than a blessing.

Finally one day, as I prayed, it all became too much for me. I began weeping uncontrollably and cried out to the Lord, “I can’t do this anymore!”

His answer was swift and clear.

“You’re right, my child. YOU can’t. Now we’re getting somewhere!”

I had become pretty proud of my study habits. I am one of those freaky people who LOVES to study and hearts her Greek/Hebrew Lexicon.  I prided myself on my ability to research and to grow in knowledge. Somewhere along the way, I had started relying on myself, instead of relying on the Lord. I was so busy talking at Him that I’m sure He couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I would fill my notebooks with references, quotes, notes from commentaries… but I very rarely took the time to follow His command to just “Be still and know that I am God.”  It was all self-effort.

In my living room that morning, Jesus showed up and shut me up. The moment I confessed to Him that I just couldn’t do it – it was like He shone a holy light all around me and said, “Now you’ve got it! YOU can’t do anything! It has to be ME.”

I think it’s a combination of obedience and faith. On the one hand, if I don’t sit and open up the Word each day, my enthusiasm and commitment to keep coming back will begin to decrease. But on the other hand, if I come with my own agenda, and pat myself on the back for my discipline, without giving Him room to speak, I can experience that desert even as  I’m filling my head with Scripture. It’s all about the heart.

I am so thankful that He has shown me that I do not have to accept dry spells in my walk with Him. I’m glad that I don’t just accept that as inevitable anymore… instead I come expecting Him to speak.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me [*ahem* – that did not say, “Heather, who believes in herself”], as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:37-38)

 

Are you thirsty today? Got Jesus?

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Responses

  1. Beautiful Heather, and I related. I have been in such a spiritual funk for the past month and even wrote about it on FaithLifs. Thank you for sharing this treasure.

  2. I think you wrote this for me. I’m in a dry spell and was just praying about it. What you said rings so true – I’m trying to change things myself and that won’t work but I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. I don’t think that we can avoid those desert times, because we are human, sinful and constantly pull away from Him in a million different ways. I like the way you equate a defeatist attitude with bondage though. Just because we will be in that desert place at some point doesn’t mean that we need to be anticipating it. Sometimes God sends us to the desert place for a time of refining so He can refresh us later.

    Great thoughts, and I completely hear where you are coming from with your quiet time and zeal for studying. I had the same thing happen to me because I was getting so caught up in my own pride at what I had accomplished and learned, that I forget the reason I was doing it to begin with.

    Xandra

  4. I so desperately NEED my time with Him each day. My days goes badly when I don’t begin it with Him. Thankfully He loves me no matter how much or little time I spend with Him.

    Leah

  5. I so understand the feeling of “I can’t do this anymore!” I have been to that point alot. And you are so right! That is when God gives me the overwhelming peace that He is here with me and working on my behalf.

  6. Before I had read the devotional for today and clicked on the blog at the bottom, I had been in prayer about both aspects. The critizing and my spiritual walkl with the Father. It is so easy to get wrapped up in things of this world that I seem to put my Heavenly Father on the shelve. Then He knocks on my heart and let’s me know of my disobedience. I was being convicted of these things this morning and then to open up the devotional and then the blog, it spoke volumes. I don’t think it was just you and the gal who wrote the devotiional, but Jesus Himself using it to confirm my own feelings of sin in my heart. I do so enjoy having these and you desire to post them and feel God is using you in a mighty way. Thanks Heather. Love Ya, Sue

  7. Great post, Heather. You are an inspiration to me in this way!

  8. So true I’m sure in everyone’s life, and also very, very true that there does not need to be that dry spell. I’ve found myself having the same thoughts about how people will wane. It’s not for them to lose it, or me to lose it, or think others will lose it, but for Christ to always be the center of it, the filler of our voids. Then there will never be a void…


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