Monday, February 28, 2011

In a Dry and Weary Land

Sometimes grace is imperceptible. I know it’s there, but the days seem so ordinary, so routine. I don’t feel like I’m hanging by a thread, yet I don’t feel invigorated and enthusiastic. I’m just…there. Not moving forward, not moving backward.

I miss the feelings of growth, of purpose, of passion. The times when God feels so very near, hope so very real, and my life like a piece of clay being molded on the potter’s wheel. Instead I feel like He took a break from this project.

It’s a dry season.

“O God…my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1)

I get up in the mornings with my tea and candles and lift up my prayers to the One who has given me the day. In the evenings, I kneel down to the same One who stayed at my side throughout the day. I visit Him in church. I serve Him in my neighbor. I praise Him as I look up at the stars on a clear night. I still love Him, and He still loves me.

But I don’t feel it. And that bothers me sometimes.

Then I remember it’s not about the feelings.

It’s about the faithfulness.

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis writes,

“On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will.”

And I’m reminded that my feelings are a very fickle indicator of where I am on my walk with Christ. He is not so concerned with my emotions, or lack thereof, but rather with my choices each day. That I choose to follow Him when I feel like it and when I don’t.

I only see a part of the picture, a lump of clay, a stretch of the path. He sees it all. When it feels as though the paintbrush has been laid aside, the pottery is unfinished, and the trail goes in circles…He says, “Trust me.” He has not left along with my emotions. He has not stopped working just because I cannot see the finished work. He is there in the times of spiritual dryness as well as the times of growth.

"The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not." (C. S. Lewis—emphasis mine)

Amen. Our God is faithful. Even—or perhaps especially—in the dry and weary land.

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