Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Surviving times when you feel spiritually "dry"

I'm having one of those times at the moment. One of those times when I find reading the Bible is a huge effort, I don't feel like praying, and I generally feel out of step with everybody. When all this happens, I tend to withdraw into myself because talking to Christian friends who seem to be going well (from outward appearances, anyway) just makes me feel worse. And I'm introverted so interacting with others leaves me with less energy rather than more.

Some days I wonder why it can't be easy all the time to enjoy reading and learning from the Scriptures and praying. But I guess that's not what we're promised. Today in Bible Study we were reading passages from the Old and New Testaments about why Christians are different from other people. The lesson I learned (not a new lesson, but one I needed to be taught again) was that being a Christian is not supposed to be easy. It's easier to just be like everyone else in the world because that doesn't take much effort, but being a Christian requires hard work.

And we can't do it in our own strength. That's the bit it's too easy for me to forget. We need to pray and read our Bibles because that is where we will find the strength we lack in ourselves.


5 comments:

Wendy said...

Karen, I'm reading a book at the moment that has a section on just this thing. It is Phillip Yancey's "Prayer". Have you read it? I think it would really resonate with you. The book it large and looks imposing, but it is actually very readable and accessible.

Sarah said...

I've got that book too, Wendy. I haven't read it yet though.

I reckon what you've described, Karen, is what every Christian goes through at some point (if they're honest). I'm sort of in that predicament now and was recently comforting a friend who has been feeling spiritually dry for months. She said when she makes a real effort to read her Bible, she feels guilty like she is doing something she really doesn't want to, and she knows God knows her heart.

One helpful thing another person said to my friend was that it's ok to ask God to 'revive' us when we're feeling dry and far from Him. Of course in reality, He is always close to us whether we 'feel' it or not and sometimes we do have to keep plodding along in our walk, but it's ok to ask God for help and tell Him we want to feel His love.

Karen said...

Thanks ladies, will check it out. Glad to find once again that I'm not the only one who has these struggles...

Deb L said...

I read something in a book by Ed Welch (When people are big and God is small) which comes into my head from time to time when I feel I can't pray or read the Bible. A friend said to him something along the lines of, "That's when you pray by faith." That is, you go ahead and you pray and you keep on reading trusting that God will in His time bring you through and accomplish His work in your life as he pleases.

Karen said...

Thanks Deb, I think that is true. At times like this, it just comes down to plain old perseverance and hanging in there. I've been through this a few times now, so I know there are seasons where it gets easier again.