Have you ever thought about how a grape becomes a raisin? Or a plum becomes a prune? The formal name for the process is dehydration. The water is removed from the fruit. Informally, we’d say that it is just “dried up.” Sometimes we feel spiritually dry. We even have a term to describe it….”a dry season.” We have all been there. In my almost 25 years of knowing God, I can look back over the years and identify the dry seasons as well as identify the spiritually rich seasons.
Our relationship with God seems to follow the cycle of the weather. There are years when it is very rainy and there are years of drought. Spiritually, there are seasons where we feel so intimate with God. Our worship is sweet. Our Bible study is rich. God’s voice is so clear. And then there are times when our relationship with God feels empty: devoid of joy, passion, and hunger. In those times, our Bible reads like the newspaper. The worship songs are just music. We feel like we can’t hear God’s voice. It is so quiet that we could hear a pin could drop.
What are we do to in the dry seasons? Just go through the motions? Sing the worship choruses even though we feel like we are lying through our teeth? Read the Bible even though our heart is a dried up sponge? Sit still and listen even though it seems as if God has turned His attention to another?
Many years ago, when I was first saved, I had a very wise pastor. He was the pastor of a small campus church at N. C. State University, so he was shepherding the hearts of many young college students. He taught us the importance of a daily “quiet time” with the Lord: a time with God spent reading the Bible, praying, and worshiping. It took me many years to develop a consistent “quiet time” with the Lord. Some years have been more successful than others.
This pastor had a quote that has stuck with me all these years. He said that if we had our quiet time at the same time every day, that God would know where to find us. Let me put it in a more earthly perspective.
My mother is retired, but she is very active. She exercises, plays bridge, takes food to the sick, gardens, and works puzzles. Many times when I try to call her, I get her voicemail. Sometimes it takes me a couple of days to get in touch with her. Through the years we have established the habit of a “Friday morning phone call.” I call her each Friday morning. Rarely do I forget, as I know that it is a time when she will be home to answer the phone. We both await the phone call with anticipation.
In the same way, God often tries to get our attention. He tries to call us but we are too busy doing daily activities to hear the phone ring. But, if we have a set aside time for His call, we are more apt to be available to “answer the phone” and hear His voice calling us.
If I am consistent with my quiet time each day, no matter what season I am in, at least God knows where to find me.
In my dry seasons, this seemingly humorous statement has brought me much peace. I continue to spend time with the Lord each morning. It feels fruitless and dry…much like eating a piece of day old cornbread without a drink to wash it down. But each day, I get back in the chair, and spend time with God. I’d rather be doing something else, but I force myself to sit down and at least read a Bible verse or two. I continue to have a quiet time, even though it’s God’s voice that seems quiet.
When the spiritual dry season moves past and the rain starts again, I’ll be in my quiet time chair, ready to be refreshed in my worship, Bible study, and prayer. He will speak, and I will hear once more.
He knows where to find me.
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