God, Are You There?
I have been a follower of Jesus long enough to have experienced what we call in Christian circles "dry seasons." Dry seasons are those times in a person's spiritual life when there is a feeling of distance from God.
Dry seasons come in all shapes and sizes.
I have had dry seasons in my prayer life. I have had dry seasons in reading Scripture. I have had dry seasons in meaningful friendships. I have had dry seasons in my desire to be in church. I have had dry seasons of vision for my life.
I am sure that you have experienced some of the same things.
Sometimes there are external factors that can cause a feeling of spiritual dryness: an over-busy schedule, a loss or death, or even sin that has not been dealt with.
Yet, quite often dry seasons come with no warning and no clear reason.
For most of us, the dry seasons are the times when we are most challenged in our faith and the times when we look up to heaven and ask, "God, are you there?"
If you have ever been through a time like this in your life, or perhaps you are going through a dry season right now, I want to offer you some hope from the book of Micah.
Micah was a prophet who was given (like all of the prophets) the difficult task of preaching hard truth to the Israelites. The hard truth is that the people of God were living in sin and God was not going to allow it to continue without punishment.
Micah preaches a message of coming judgment.
In the last chapter, we see the prophet Micah lamenting the sin that has overtaken the people. He is disheartened that it seems as though there is no righteousness left.
"The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind."
"The best of them is like a briar, the most upright of them a thorn hedge."
"Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend."
You can hear it in his words - he is experiencing the feeling of spiritual dryness all around him.
If there is one thing that a dry season produces it is mourning.
Dry seasons bring mourning because we long to experience what it felt like before. We long for the richness of a fruitful prayer life. We long for understanding and insight into Scripture. We long for the joy of close friendships. We long for a vision for the future.
What is most ironic about dry seasons is that while in the midst of them we feel distant from God, they are often the times when we are most aware of God. This awareness positions us to press in to Him; the feeling of absence makes us long to pursue Him even more.
How did Micah respond in the midst of the dryness he was experiencing?
"But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me."
Micah's response was to look to God rather than succumb to the thing that was dry in his life.
He was not going to give up. He was not going to move on. He was going to look up, wait, and trust that God was going to come through.
If you are in a "God, are you there?" season I beg you - DON'T GIVE UP!
Keep praying - even if you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling.
Keep reading Scripture - even if you feel like you are not getting anything out of it.
Keep pursuing relationships - even if you feel like giving up.
Keep dreaming for the future - even if you feel like there is no hope.
Dry seasons do not last forever. Keep believing. Keep looking up. The rain is coming.