This weekend I spent time with women in my neck of Nashville, joining together with women across the globe to listen, learn and see the Word of God come alive at IF:Gathering. Last year I participated in this same local gathering and felt my perspective shift, my heart come open to some things I had tried to close off or be guarded against that God was really pushing hard on me about.
This year I came in tired and sick…battling an upper respiratory thing all week in the midst of one of the driest seasons I have ever had in my 18 years of Christian living. I ploughed through the holidays trying to conjure up the feelings of Christ’s nearness, of the awe and wonder of Emmanuel and I was just left with a bit of empty and hollowness. Even as the new year rang, things have felt very meh with me and the Lord so to speak.
I have been in a hard study of His Word in 1 and 2 Samuel that I’ll be sharing later this week on, but in all honesty, life hasn’t been really living in Christ for me the last few months. It’s felt like a dry desert kicking up some dust and finding spots of growth even in the parched, but nothing lush and overwhelming, no valleys or mountains…just a dry plateau of this journey.
So as I stumbled into this weekend of IF:Gathering I wondered if I could be engaged, if I would hear Him speak directly to me in the dry life I have been living. In realizing all this about the season I find myself in, I never once sought God out of thirst. I never once went to Him asking for Living Water to fill the parched heart that was just surviving. It’s been a very me-focused push through this journey, never once leaning onto God for help or guidance, for filling or quenching. I just thought I had to muster through in this season I found myself in, because I had chosen to enter this season of dryness on my own accord.
For this season I have chosen to isolate and seclude myself from alot, saying it was out of busyness and a call to quiet my life more. But what it really meant was I need to wall myself off because I was being pushed and challenged in ways I wasn’t ready to process and apply, to change and grow in community. IF:Gathering this weekend centered on the early church, and Acts as the Scripture focal point.
A group of women studying Acts, watch out world…but what struck me most was in Acts 1:7 how Christ is speaking to the disciples one final time, that we aren’t to know the times that are set by Father God because He has ultimate authority, God of all. He is sovereign and true, He is faithful and just. He is worthy and above all else, He can be trusted. So in my dryness I sought water. I sought the fountain of His unending faithfulness and love to be poured out when I simply could not make it for myself. I asked trusting He provides, knowing He is good and will give according to His glory what pleases Him.
It took being in this very dry season to understand that I didn’t have the faith to ask. I sought to do it on my own, as I often fail to see myself doing, and instead seek His well of life-giving truth.
This has been the song of constant prayer over the last few weeks.