Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Christianity within an American culture sometimes has many side effects resulting in inauthentic Christianity. One of them is the illusion of consistent spiritual happiness.
The American culture is very “smiley”. People smile at you at Starbucks, serving your table, when you say “hi”, and on and on. It’s polite but in many ways, it often clouds the reality inside. In church, we ask people how they’re doing, and everyone says, “good.” And you know that most of the time, it’s just not the case.
In fact, within many churches, the stigma of “not being all right” is an area of public expression that we are not used to, that we do not accept, and we do not promote. Yet in doing so, we neglect one very important aspect about life: reality.
Christians are not always good. Shoot, come to think of it, if I am a pastor-in-training who is supposed to be ‘super spiritual’, I’ll be the first to say that most of my Christian life looks like one huge roller coaster ride. I am not always on fire for Jesus. I am not always in my right mind. In fact, I am often in seasons of spiritual dryness and weariness.
Am I the only one that experiences this?
I’m guessing not. And thankfully, this psalm written by Asaph would tell me that he does too. In this Psalm, he is crying out loud to God because of the distance he feels with his Maker. His soul feels so dry and he has his hands lifted high, groaning and desiring his presence.
It comes to the point where he thinks that God has forsaken him. And honestly, sometimes it feels like that in my life. And I’m sure it feels like that for a lot of people.
This post is not about revival, although the rest of the Psalm does give suggestions for that. But this post is about embracing spiritual dryness as a season normal to God’s people. Because honestly, that’s….reality.
Life is not always peachy for the believer. Things get real rough. And sometimes, God does feel like a million miles away. We treasure the times where his presence is closer than your skin, but there are those seasons in life where we feel like we dwell in a spiritually dry and weary land. And contrary to the American (I’m bringing it all back now) smiley culture, it’s okay.
Having spiritual struggles is all right. The Bible is filled with passages which give hope to the broken-hearted, the poor in spirit, the wayward, downcast, and the despairing. That’s because God can be found in the heavens, as well as the pits of Sheol (Ps 139). He hears the shouts of joys from those on spiritual highs and experiencing spiritual victories, but you can be certain of this: God hears every weak and pathetic prayer the spiritually wayward throws up to heaven.
Those are the prayers that absolutely suck coming out, but rest-assured, they are heard. That’s because God is very aware of when his people are downcast, not just when we are spiritually happy.