Lindsey Carlson lives in Houston with her worship-pastor husband and their four active kids (all under age 10). Her home is filled with the sounds of childhood (galloping horses, swashbuckling heroes, and the occasional sibling brawl), the near-constant presence of music in some form, and volumes of great literature, old and new. You can catch her regular reflections on faith and worship at Worship Rejoices.
Some mornings, writing comes easily. Other days, I stare at a blank screen and scrounge for words and it is painful. And then sometimes it’s not painful, but it’s also not fruitful. It’s just plain dry. When it’s on a computer screen, I can shrug my shoulders and heave a sigh of annoyance and walk away with only the guilt of another day of blank-blog syndrome.
This phenomenon transfers into my real life, too. Some mornings I get up early, fighting the good fight to remain in the Word, and I earnestly read and look for wisdom. But then, some days I leave feeling like nothing’s been written on the pages of my life. I close my Bible and have no since of awe as I re-enter the world outside my bedroom door. I head into the day feeling exactly like I did when I went to bed the night before. When I don’t feel refreshed or feel equipped, I can forget that I am being sustained and being carried along even in the days I don’t feel it.
The past few months have been a season of deep drought for me. A disappointment here and another one there and drumming up cheerfulness has been downright difficult. Thankfulness, has come only through thoughtfulness; pondering all the ways God is faithful even when I’m hurting or sorrowful. And though ultimate joy in my salvation and my Savior is there, it’s buried deep inside. It’s hardest to feel the joy in the times of drought.
This round of deep drought is not the first, and sadly it won’t be the last. I’ve lived long enough to experience a few highs and lows of life and know they’re cyclical. One thing has been different this time around. This time, for the first time, I’ve been mercifully aware that my feelings of barrenness, don’t dictate God’s nearness and continued work on my behalf.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
This period of waiting to once again feel the Lord’s refreshing renewal has been the sweetest because I know it will come again. And until it does, I remind myself it is “through returning and rest” I will be saved; “In quietness and in trust” will I find my strength (Isaiah 30:15). My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is my strength and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26). Feelings are not your peace, Christ is.
“Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of the commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” Ephesians 2:12-16
If you are starting out this year on the same page as me, barren or in draught, don’t despair. Don’t think God has forgotten you or left you alone. He has not. Rest, rest, rest. Return to Him even when you don’t see immediate fruit of change. Even when you don’t feel His renewal. He is there and His understanding is unsearchable.
You may be tired, but He is not. Until He renews your strength, wait for Him in quietness and trust.