I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, 0 God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
"Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"
Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." I will remember the deeds of the lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Is my spiritual dryness my responsibility or God's?
In Business Terms
From time to time, every Christian ends up hiking through a spiritual desert. Our sense of God wanes. Prayer and solitude and Bible reading seem to be a waste of effort.
For many, the tendency is to want to do something about the dryness. A friend recently said, "I just don't feel close to God like I used to. I haven't been spending enough time in prayer." His solution was more Bible reading and prayer-more effort. For some, spiritual dryness may be a signal of spiritual laziness, but that's not always the case. While God is always present with us, sometimes he withdraws from us the "sense" of His presence.
The great Christian writers down through the centuries have always written about spiritual dryness as though it were normal, part of what knowing God entails. Michael Molinos, a seventeenth-century Christian, wrote, "Dryness is good and holy, and cannot take you from the Divine presence. Do not call dryness a distraction."
The advice of the great cloud of Christian witnesses down through history is not to do more, but simply to keep hiking. Keep praying, keep listening for God, keep reading His Word, keep on keeping on-no matter how frustrated we feel.
The good news is the sense of God will eventually return, and by our faithfulness we make progress in our quest to know God.
David L. Goetz
Something to Think About
Don't jump to conclusions too quickly; many things lie unsolved, and the biggest test of all is that God looks as if He were totally indifferent.
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