Return to your rest O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:7
A dry spell. Stuck in a rut. Underwhelmed. Call it whatever you like, I’m there and I very much dislike it. Is it the time of year? Is it my own fault? Is it spiritual warfare? Maybe a little bit of all three. If you have followed my posts on Facebook the past several months, you know I try to write devotions and posts that are encouraging. I always want to point you to Jesus…in the good and the difficult times. You have probably also noticed I have been writing much less. After following God’s leading (very slowly I might add), I started this blog. Now…I. got. nothin’.
I am simply honestly sharing where I am at. I want so desperately to be overwhelmed with Jesus…the Bread of Life…the Living Water. I want to delight in His Word. For one, I NEED HIM! For two, if I’m not filled to overflowing with Him, the words I write are no more than endless chatter. The very thing I need, the very thing I desire…time in His Word and in prayer…seems to be the very thing I’m struggling with. The farther I drift from His Word and prayer, honestly the less (meaningful) words I have. I would love nothing more than for my reality to always be in that space where I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed with the Presence of Jesus. It’s not always that way for any of us, so what do we do? When we are in a dry spell, or under spiritual attack, sometimes the easiest thing to do is to do nothing and wait for it to pass. That is also the WORST thing we can do! Like any relationship, we have to work at it, put effort in it, and if need be…fight for it!
So here is my action plan:
1. Prayer. Not just “breath prayers”, but on my knees and face prayer…out loud! We (I) tend to forget that though Satan knows our weaknesses, he cannot hear our thoughts. So pray out loud and he will flee at the name of Jesus and the truth of His spoken Word.
2. Read. Just read His Word. Be reminded of His promises, His truth, His love and faithfulness. Most of all be reminded of His worthiness. It is His Word, and the discerning power of the Holy Spirit that gives us understanding and changes us from the inside out. It’s through God’s Word that we can know His heart. I will also be more diligent in putting on my spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-19). That’s an entire lesson in and of itself!
3. I am counting…really counting my blessings. When we truly do name them…one by one…we are reminded, and truly surprised at what God has done!
Ephesians 3:20 tells us: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thankful for an “underwhelming” dry spell? You bet. It reminds me how utterly grey and dismal life can be apart from Jesus. It reminds me of what I’ve always said; Nothing worth having ever comes easy. It takes work, diligence, and perseverance. I am NOT saying we have to work for our salvation….no…not at all (read Eph. 2:8-9). But we are responsible for our own obedience and spiritual growth. It is our own choice to make time – or not – to read and study our Bible. It is our own choice to talk to our Heavenly Father in prayer…and to be still and listen. Like any relationship, true intimacy takes time and effort on our part.
I am greatly encouraged by James 4:8 which tells us that when we draw near to God….He will draw near to us. I have to smile when I remember Psalm 3:3 which says; “But you, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.” I always joke that being of short stature, I tend to only see eye level or lower…I forget to “look up” much of the time. My Heavenly Father reaches down…takes my face in His hands…and lifts my head to look into His loving face. Somehow, everything looks brighter when we look up!
Whatever you are going through dear friend, whether a dry spell, illness, difficulty or discouragement…look up. Your Heavenly Father is the One who lifts up your head. He is your Deliverer. He is your Hope.
Love & Blessings,
As I was pondering what to write for my first “real” blog post, I thought about Isaiah 43:18-19:
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Maybe 2014 was a great year for you. Maybe it was the worst. Either way, don’t dwell on what is past. Don’t dwell on the hardships or sadness. Be thankful for the blessings, but don’t let even the blessings blind you to what God is up to now and in this year ahead. He is always up to something new. He will either give us eyes to see what that is when we ask…or maybe the patience to simply wait and trust.
2014 was a difficult year for me health-wise. The pain and fatigue of Fibromyalgia held me back from doing many things I desired to do. I also had a couple of small cancer scares. Yet cancer never is “small” is it? Fortunately they both came back negative, but to get that phone call…then the tests…it shakes your world and causes you to see things much differently.
There was also a lot about the past year that was positive. When the pain and fatigue of Fibro are so intense, depression tends to accompany it. It has in the past. Last year it never did. Though weak physically, I was emotionally strong. Things were not always easy, yet I feel that I was extremely blessed spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. God changed my perspective on a lot of things and reordered my priorities. I can honestly say, even with the physical difficulties, I was much more at peace. I am grateful for what God has done.
Now it is time to look ahead. One new thing God is up to is this blog! It is definitely stretching me out of my comfort zone. At the same time it is thrilling to see how God provides and what He can do with my fumbling efforts when I just follow His leading. I am always humbled when God takes my words…or His own words that I just post…and gives them wings to fly to a heart that needs to hear them. That is my purpose in doing this; that my words will touch your heart in someway and always point you in the direction of Jesus.
There is more I am looking forward to in 2015. This year will mark thirty-six years of marriage to my high school sweetheart. He is still my sweetheart and I love experiencing life and growing old with him. We will also add grandbaby #3 to our family. 🙂 Grandchildren are the biggest blessing! This year I am also praying for God to give me more of a burden for the lost…many who are near and dear to us. Will this be the year we can see them come to know Jesus personally?
No matter what this year brings, I know God is always good, and even when He does not remove a difficulty, I know His plans for us are for good and not harm (Jer. 29:11). I know He will always give us His grace which is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). Ask for eyes to see what He is up to and watch it spring up! If you have had a difficult year, I pray you will see a road through the wilderness and a river of refreshment through your desert. You are loved.
So how were you blessed in 2014?
What are you looking forward to in 2015?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!
Love & Blessings,
Welcome to my new blog! Honestly, there is SO much I still don’t understand about how this blog operates, but I’m doing my best to figure it out. For now I will just stick to posting some hopefully encouraging devotions. Baby steps for me!
I promise to post at least once a week. As I get more comfortable, I will hopefully post more often. But I want my words to be meaningful, not just words for the sake of a post. Please check out my “About” page for more about who I am, why I started this blog, and why I hope you will follow it!
For now I’d like to leave you with God’s Word in Isaiah 58:11;
“And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”
Working diligently to provide an enjoyable place for you to come and sit awhile! It takes me a little longer than expected sometimes to learn something new; but I promise we’ll be up and running very soon!