"I lifted the yoke from their neck. I bent down and fed them."
So often I hear people speak of spiritual dryness. A period of time where a person struggles to feel or hear the Lord's presence. Over the last couple of weeks I have experienced my own battles with what felt like "dryness". I could not pray as usual. A myriad of distractions would never cease to disturb and confuse me. And while I could find a multitude of reasons to suppose at why this was happening, I was too frustrated to try to figure it out. I decided instead to let it pass and to persist in prayer.
But every time I tried to pray, all I could feel was silence. Scriptures stirred no movement in my soul. Nothing seemed as usual. But I again patiently endured it. Searching for nothing, seeking nothing, just allowing the dryness to continue on its own terms.
And then this morning... I felt the Lord calling me to rest in the silence. And I had a vision of myself resting in a special healing place with the Lord. Jesus was caring for my wounds and Mary was nursing me to health and I could hear the Lord telling me that I was to stay in this place until I was filled with His strength.
What occurred to me was that, maybe these places of dryness are not really dryness. Maybe these places of extreme silence in our prayer life is really just the Lord calling us to internal stillness. That in this kind of quiet He can heal us from the wounds that we don't even know of. Haven't you ever had someone ask you, "Where did you get that bruise?". And your response is, "Geez, I dunno." I can't imagine that our spiritual lives are any different.
How do you handle periods of spiritual dryness? Perhaps we should take these moments of our spiritual life as intentional places of healing where the Lord is emptying us of ourselves and filling us up with Himself. That the intense quiet is a reminder of our own mortality and the desire of our hearts for salvation. Imagine a person who is both deaf and blind. They cannot see or hear the world they live in, but yet it still exists.
Jesus, come to me in my dryness that I may trust in Your presence even when I don't feel it. Help me to rest in the quiet. Please use the silence of my soul for great healing. That when this passes me, Your strength will encompass my being. Help me to trust that when I cannot hear your voice or feel your presence, that you are speaking to me in ways I cannot understand.