Getting Through a Spiritual Drought
““Let Pharaoh do this: Let him appoint overseers over the land and take a fifth of the harvest of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. Let them gather all the excess food during these good years that are coming. Under Pharaoh’s authority, store the grain in the cities, so they may preserve it as food. The food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine that will take place in the land of Egypt. Then the country will not be wiped out by the famine.”” (Genesis 41:34–36, HCSB)
Just as the land of Egypt met with years of abundance followed by years of drought, a Christian (or even a church) will encounter a similar cycle. There have been times in my Christian life when I have felt effective in what God was calling me to do. I saw people get saved, I saw the church grow. I noticed the hand of God working in my personal life.
However, there have been other times when I have felt spiritually dry. During these times, the Bible does not seem to come alive. I cannot seem to find personal application to God’s word. I have trouble seeing what God is doing around me. I have even fallen into temptation to various sins. Yet, I have learned to persevere.
On my Dad’s farm, there is a section of forty acres which are filled with tall oak trees. Since April of this year (2012), we have seen the effects of the worst drought seen in the Ozarks for almost forty years. Very little rain has fallen, and the temperatures have stayed over one hundred degrees for almost three months now. While the grass and the small plants have died and turned brown, and weeds have come up, the trees remain standing. I took a picture today of a scene from my dad’s farm. The trees are strong and green. But the grass is brown. Why is this so? I would like to think that the trees have saved up energy to endure this drought. The reason they can endure is that the roots are deep. Deep roots can further to find more water. The trees were able to store water during times of abundance and store it for times of drought.
The principle of saving for the time of drought is sound. It is financially sound – twenty percent can be saved for times of financial difficulty. It is also sound advice for the Christian spiritually. One has to learn to reserve some of that spiritual energy for times of drought. Where does the energy come from? It comes from the years of engaging the Word of God. When one has not spent time “watering” and “growing” in the Spirit when times of drought come, the Christian wilts like the grass.
This application is true for churches as well. I was taught as a church planter that “the resources are in the harvest.” This means that if you want things done in the church, you get your help from the newly saved people who come to the church. I have also learned that the more spiritually mature members of the church get a church through the difficult times. When times of spiritual drought come, some people leave. Some people waste away, and others are there strong as an oak – to help the church get through the difficult time.