Let’s talk about the dry times. You know what I mean, those awful times in our Christian walks when we feel stale, lifeless, unproductive, maybe even pointless. Maybe we feel like everything is a struggle. We feel tired with nothing else to give. Worse yet, we might not be able to feel God’s presence. In fact, He might even feel so distant we find ourselves wondering if He even exists.
If you’ve walked with Christ very long, you’ve probably experienced some of what I’m talking about. Some people call it being in a spiritual desert or a wilderness season. There is a lot of Christian teaching about it, and we’re often exhorted to embrace our 0desert season and see what we can learn.
But I’ll be honest. I have wandered through some dry, desolate places in life, and I have learned a thing or two.
Simply put, all that desert season stuff can go find someone else to dry up.
Because I’ve got a Well.
There’s no doubt that life has its ups and downs—mountain top experiences and valleys and that sometimes we feel the physical presence of God more than others—but you were never meant to spiritually feel dry as dust, used up, and alone.
You know why?
Because you have a Well too.
The first part of John, Chapter 4 recounts the Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at a well. In short, He is thirsty. She is drawing water. He asks for a drink; she is surprised He’s asked. Jesus finds this to be the perfect time to tell the Samaritan woman about what it is like to have a relationship with Him:
“But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him A SPRING OF WATER [satisfying his thirst for God] WELLING UP [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.” John 4:14 (AMP) [emphasis mine]
What Jesus describes is a dynamic, endless well spring of water, not a fickle flow that periodically dries up to teach us something.
No, as a matter of fact, God’s Word says that He satisfies our thirst for God. Do you know that synonyms for satisfy are satiate, quench, gorge, indulge, glut?
That means if you are a child of Christ, you have a spring inside of you that is continually bubbling and flowing, one that completely satiates and quenches your thirst for God to the point of indulgence and glut. Even if life’s circumstances look like desert all around you, you’re a walking oasis! You just can’t help it!
Do you know what some antonyms for “satisfy” are? Try depress, disappoint, deplete, deprive, discourage, fail, frustrate, dull, or bore. In other words, a desert season.
Here are 4 truths about those spiritually dry times I learned while reading John 4:14.
- When we can’t feel His presence—our feelings are completely unreliable.
If you listen closely to anyone talk about a desert season, you will hear a lot of “I feel’s.” I feel like God is far away. I feel uninspired. I feel dry inside. While we may sincerely feel these things, they don’t change the promises that God has spoken over us. His name is Immanuel (God is with us,) and He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 and others). In many places in the Bible, He also promises to sustain us, protect us, provide for use, give us rest, and to stick closer than a brother. Just because we don’t feel these things doesn’t make them less true. We have to get past our own feelings and get at the real Truth. Feelings are not a spiritual barometer.
- When we can’t hear His Voice—we need to listen in a different way.
God speaks to us in a variety of ways. He is always talking to us through his Word, His Creation, His Spirit in us, and even through fellow believers whether we hear Him or not. We can get stuck in a rut, only expecting God to speak to us the same way time after time. When He doesn’t, we tend to think something is terribly wrong, that God is being silent, refusing to answer, or has left us. Trust that God has lots to say to you. Look and listen for Him in more than just one place.
- When we’re too tired to go on—we need to stop doing things in our own strength.
Sometimes, life can be hard, really hard, and we feel like we don’t have the energy or gumption to take one more step or believe for one more thing. We feel lost in the wilderness. Getting caught up in and trying to take on everything life throws at us will run us absolutely ragged. When we feel this way, it is a sure sign that we are trying to do this faith walk in our own strength. It is time to be still (Psalm 46:10) and rest in what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Get in the Word, renew your mind, and know He’s got this!
- When our relationship seems pointless—we need to find a new way to love Him.
Just like we might need to find new ways to hear Him, we might need to find a new way love Him. That might sound a little strange. But just like any relationship that lasts for a length of time, it’s not always hearts and stars. God doesn’t change, but we do. And sometimes we have to make the choice to connect on a different level. Maybe this means you need to amp up your praise game or just spend quiet moments letting Him know that you are there to be with Him. The greatest intimacy in a relationship is not attained in moments of emotional attachment, but in those moments when we choose to love regardless of feeling or circumstance. If you’re feeling disconnected, purposefully pursue Jesus.
A dry, lonely relationship is not a part of God’s perfect plan for us, not even for a period of time. If it was, He wouldn’t have promised the Samaritan woman a well that would never run dry.
Further Study for overcoming the desert season:
“Walking By Faith,” Faith Builders series, Andrew Wommack- 4 free complete MP3 teachings