Prepare now for your next spiritual drought

After many cycles of spiritual growth and dryness in my own life, I have learned the value of ‘banking’ spiritual graces.

Have you ever tried to read the Bible only to realise that after ten minutes you have not taken in a word? Or spent time with your eyes closed attempting to pray but really chasing anxious thoughts as if herding cats?

It is normal to go through seasons of spiritual dryness. Times when prayer and Bible reading become exercises in raw discipline or diminish to nothing. None of us want to remain in such a barren place, but how long we have to endure is God’s call, not ours.

I think it is good to always attempt to nurture your relationship with God, even when it feels as if you are just ‘going through the motions’. I also think it is valuable to accept the barren season for what it is and not heap guilt upon yourself when the going gets tough.

After many cycles of spiritual growth and dryness in my own life, I have learned the value of ‘banking’ spiritual graces. I now try to fill up with the disciplines of Bible reading, memorization, and prayer during my times of plenty. This gives me a reserve to draw upon when it is difficult to read the Bible and God seems distant.

In seasons of growth, make the most of it. Farmers use the growth seasons of spring and summer to make hay to feed their stock through the dark winter months. Be wise and use easy times (or even just ‘normal’ periods) to grow spiritually. Hard times will come again and once they arrive it is too late to start building spiritual condition.

When the fight is difficult, it is enough to stand (Ephesians 6:13).

If you are able to read the Bible today, do so. If you can pray even a little, take the opportunity to come into God’s presence. Go to church, or homegroup, even if it is tiresome or inconvenient. The day will come when you will wish you had done all this much more.

Scripture references:

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (ESV)

New life


There are times in my Christian life when I feel like a dried up old leaf, devoid of life.

Fortunately a friend reminded me of the promises which we have both clung to over the years. Promises of being made new, given life, dead to the world and sin and raised in Christ by the Holy Spirit.

if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

Maybe this is not the ‘right’ question to ask, but how do I experience this? From the Bible I know it to be true regardless of how I feel, yet the dry, crunchy sense of having had the life sucked out of me by the world is needing to be replaced with something better. The idea of new life is appealing, how do I experience life in Christ as fresh and new?

Reading the New Testament gives me ample reason to trust that God has indeed given me new life, and I generally find that as I read my dryness lessens. However, I cannot spend all day reading the Bible, much that it seems appealing to do so!

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Romans 6:8 ESV)

As I consider the promises I clung to and yearned to experience as a young Christian I find that it is possible to see ways in which I do have a deeper understanding of them now and have experienced the new life through the Holy Spirit in the years since first discovering them. I certainly have not arrived at some marvelous spiritual plane, instead I can trace the life God has infused into me working itself out in the real world as I’ve grown and stumbled onward in Christ.

So I delight in remembering how far the journey has already been, this gives reassurance that whatever may lie ahead can be faced in Christ. The baby Christian of 1988 could not have imagined where God would lead him! And He continues to lead us onward, one day at a time.

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:10–11 ESV)

Gifts I have noticed recently:

856) Sitting in Govenor’s with a coffee reading my book and the 4 other people in here are also reading their books with a coffee.
857) Finally getting a new sandpit built for my kids
858) My son giggling hilariously in his dreams (sound asleep)
859) A pleasant day pottering outside at home
860) Simplifying one aspect of my life
861) New insights from chapter 2 of John’s Gospel
862) The pleasure of reading a book
863) Luminous clouds with glory shining behind them this morning

864) Pre-school teachers, doctor, medicine, and parents all available to help our wee boy during an asthma attack today.
865) That he is sleeping peacefully tonight.
866) Finding a prayer I wrote out several years ago and being able to trace some of God’s answers to it.

Photo of dried leaf: 123RF