Recently my walk with God has been … dry. I’ve lacked excitement, joy and hope. I think part of it has to do with the fact that 2007 was a somewhat difficult year for me, and it has made me kind of numb to everything. Last week our department had an offsite and most of it was spent in personal prayer. Honestly, it was difficult for me to get into, but once I did, the Lord did some work on my heart — reminding me that He is good, even when I don’t feel it.
I’ve been reading the Screwtape Letters, and in it, Screwtape the demon points out that sometimes God uses the difficult, dry times as a way to bring us closer to Himself:
Now it may surprise you to learn that in His efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.
We can see this throughout Scripture in Job’s story, Paul’s trials, Jesus’ suffering, and so on. The dark times in life are used by God to “make us mature and complete” (James 1:4).
Screwtape goes on to say:
He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys (emphasis mine).
It is during the dry times that our faith is really tested. Do I really believe what I say I do about God and who He is? Even when I don’t feel hopeful, do I trust that He is my strength and my shield — that He brings my joy?
I recently memorized Ezekiel 37:1-14 and sometimes I repeat it to myself, even when I don’t feel the hope in the words. But I know they are true because He is.
So, for any of you who are just not feeling much for God lately — press on. He is good and His love endures forever. Make the choice to obey, to continue, to seek Him out. In the end, it’ll definitely be worth it.
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