Saturday, June 25, 2011
If You're Dry, Don't Give Up Digging
What do you do when your spiritual life is dry and parched? When you go to the Bible, or you go to prayer, and for some reason you're just not getting anything from it? What do you do when the source of your comfort and hope seems to have dried up just when you desperately need it?
Let's say you lived in a place where all your water came from an old-fashioned well with a bucket and pulley. Every time you needed water, you would go to the well and let down the bucket, and take it back up full of fresh water. But one day you go to the well and let down the bucket, and when it comes back up there's nothing in it. It's empty. You try again and again, jerking the rope and making sure the bucket is really going all the way to the bottom, but still nothing.
At this point, do you give up and go start digging another well? Probably not. Why? Because it took a lot of work to dig this well down deep, and you've been drawing good water from it for years. It makes a lot more sense to get down there to the source that you've always drawn from and to find out what the problem is. It may be that something got into the well and blocked it up, or it may be that you need to dig down deeper to restore a good flow of water.
This is the same problem we have sometimes in our faith. Where we used to find comfort and encouragement after 10 or 15 minutes of reading the Scriptures or prayer, all of a sudden we find that even pressing on for a half-hour doesn't seem to make a difference in how we feel. We still come away dry and disappointed. But the source of life is still there. The refreshing hope and encouragement you felt in the past came from God, and God is still waiting behind His Word and is still waiting to be found in prayer. He has promised that we will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-14.) He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5-6.) He never lies or changes His mind. And Jesus told us to keep on seeking God, for He will not delay long in answering our cries.
So keep on digging. Even when you're feeling dry, put your trust in the promises He made to us and keep on seeking Him. If a half-hour doesn't help, then find a way to make it an hour. If you don't find comfort on one day, keep on seeking Him the next day. Dry spells happen, and God always has a good reason for them (I'll talk about that in the next posts). Even so, they don't last if you keep on digging and seeking God to satisfy your thirst. God always intends every dry spell to lead to a closer, better relationship with Him:
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
(2 Corinthians 1:8-10.)