When the soil is dry, plants are driven to push their roots deeper and deeper to find water. It makes them stronger in the end, though the long summer may be hard to endure.
A dry spell in our garden has just ended. Rain is falling, sinking into earth and pattering on leaves.
In the next dry spell, their roots will be that much closer to water.
I am in a spiritually dry spell. After a winter spent at an oasis of God’s nearness, I am feeling lost and a bit bewildered. God’s arms seemed to encircle me, his presence seemed so near, and now I pray and I feel I am speaking to an empty room. My heart is heavy, and it is hard to lift it high to God.
But our feelings are no measure of our circumstance.
The truth is, I am firmly planted in the love of God. His nearness is as certain as the ground beneath my feet. I must learn to trust in the certainty of his promise, of his character, instead of how I feel.
I put roots down, seeking water, seeking spiritual life. I return again to old texts that have encouraged me before, seeking the silver trickles that once refreshed me. I seek new sources of life, thirsting for the living water that does not run dry.
Christians have written often of the strangeness of these times. Why does God withhold the rain, the sense of his presence? Why do we have to endure dry ground?
In our emotion-reliant culture, it is more important than ever that followers of Jesus have deep roots, strong foundations. We have a rockbed of truth that never moves, and we must take our stand firmly on that, not on feelings.
God is faithful, when I am not. God is good, all the time. God is loving, in a way we can barely understand.
These truths must be the source of my life, my strength, not how I feel about them.
And is it possible that I have been seeking nearness with God, merely to enjoy the heady emotions that follow? Surely God himself should be my heart’s desire, whether he chooses to bless me or not.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.