“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” – Isaiah 40:29 ESV
Some of you who may be reading this post are going through a season of spiritual barrenness. All of us feel a distance between God and ourselves from time to time. I’ve been recovering from shoulder surgery over the past four months. And, during this time I’ve been limited to what I’m able to do, physically. Also, most of my recovery time has taken place during the winter months.
The lack of physical activity in our lives often causes depression. The same is true when we don’t feel like we are engaging spiritually with God. This is called spiritual depression. God gave us the four seasons in nature as a gift so that the earth can flourish. God deals with his children in much the same way.
During those times when we don’t feel God’s nearness, we often discover how much we’ve actually matured in our faith. When we find ourselves in the mist of a spiritually dry season, we need to seek God daily out of obedience. We need to remind ourselves that our spiritual journey is a marathon, not a forty-yard dash. And we must consistently sink our roots deeper into God’s word, until we can once again discern his presence.
My Doctor prescribed exercises so that I could regain my strength, and to recover from the effects of surgery. God likewise has prescribed Biblical meditation and prayer to sustain us during seasons of spiritual barrenness. There is a sense in which God does surgery on our souls. He wants to heal our broken-ness but we must first acknowledge our need.
What seems dead and barren in the winter months will ultimately (like springtime) turn into renewed life. We must keep approaching God daily until our season of barrenness ends. While our outer bodies will eventually waste away, our inner persons’ spiritual growth is unlimited. God is calling his people to remain faithful during hard times and to not lose hope.