Last year was a hard season, and looking back, I didn’t realise how dry and empty I was until the drought broke. It felt like for months and months, I didn’t hear a single word, single drop, single emotion from God. I would spend hours in the word, time at his feet, crying out for him to speak - but nothing came. It really was a winter season - like a bleak, cold, rainy day that shows no promise of sunshine. After a few months my devotion started to wane, quiet times became a chore.. and although my relationship with Jesus was very real and very much still there, I felt weary and sad that I felt so dry and emotionless. In that season I wondered if it was my fault, if there was sin or distraction taking his voice.. but as He’s led me to reflect on it, it’s quite obvious that it was the opposite. I was so hungry for God, I so desired his voice and his presence.. but He had lifted it from me - as a gift. He wasn’t withholding his presence from me as punishment, but as a gift to draw me closer to him. A gift to reveal the REAL state of my heart. A gift so that when the rain came, when the flood was emptied, my heart and soul would be ready - like a dry desert, to soak up all he wanted to say.
In Psalm 63 David talks about a time of deep hunger. A time where he was in a desert season in his intimacy with the Lord - but yet he praised Him. "Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” He lifted his name high, and gave him the glory, instead of letting the hunger overcome him and doubt God's character.
Hunger is gift because it draws us closer to Jesus - it makes room in our hearts.. In a season of fullness, there is not always room for him. He makes room by hunger. A few weeks ago I heard this quote and it impacted my heart so deeply:
"Only the hungry get Jesus, you don't get him if you're not hungry. You cannot swim in the deep knowledge of God without swimming in the waters of hunger, longing and absence of his presence.” ~ Dana Candler.
Looking back I can see how God was making room. He was positioning my heart in a place to receive, to fill up the dry cracks of my soul with his life giving waters. He was teaching me that regardless of why I don’t feel him, I still have to run after him. Run with my brokenness, with my heart and with my love.. and choose to love him anyway. Sharks follow us everywhere in the waters of hunger, sharks of bitterness and offence.. the shark of ‘why’.. and I can see now that I spent too much time trying to figure out why I was dry and emotionless. Instead of letting the shark overcome my heart, He was continuing to train me to seek Him first, in the midst of the desert.
So today if you’re dry in your relationship with Jesus - continue to lean in. Continue to seek him, chase after all he has for you. Tell him that he’s the one that you love. He’s just growing your spirit for the rain that will surely come.