I don’t think anyone would blame you if you were struggling personally and spiritually right now. Many of us are struggling with decreased incomes, fears of the unknown, lack of fellowship with our church family, and an ever growing disdain for being stuck at home. For me, the past few weeks have felt like a very long and difficult dry season. I define a dry season as any period where it seems like few things are going right, and your connection with God is beginning to wane. If you’ve experienced such a season, or perhaps are in one right now, you are far from alone. I would surmise that everyone goes through a dry season at some point in life. Because it’s so likely that all of us will encounter such a season at some point in our lives, if indeed we are not facing one right now, I want to spend some time looking at how we can both service and thrive during these dry seasons.
I’ve been inspired and encouraged in this area from several events that transported in the life of the prophet Elijah (especially in 1 Kings 17-18). Elijah was called to be a prophet during a time of moral and spiritual collapse in Israel. Many people had ceased to follow God, or had begun “hedging their bets” by worshiping other gods. The King of Israel was so desperate to placate a variety of gods that he married his son off to the high priestess of Baal. In the midst of this, God makes Elijah the bearer of the bad news:
Elijah the Tishbite said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.” 1 Kings 17:1-3
It struck me that Elijah, and everyone else who heard this message, had exactly two choices: they could put their faith in God to carry them through, or they could choose not to. To phrase it like Jedi Master Yoda: “trust or trust not, there is no try.” The King, Queen, and many Israelites chose to not trust in God, turning to other gods and their own intuition to try and save themselves. Now, while most of us don’t turn to other gods when things are difficult, I’m not sure we can always say that we truly trust in God (I know I haven’t always). During this current crisis I’ve seen people put their trust in many things besides God, from politicians to toilet paper supplies to online advice. Yet, there is really only ONE true option when the drought hits. We need to run after the God who created us, who saved us, and who sustains us by the Spirit. We need to trust in his Word, wrap ourselves in His love, and remember his unceasing gift of salvation. When the drought hits your life are you ready to put your full trust in God?