Spiritual dryness can be felt so intensely at times. I’ve often pondered the origin of this deep dryness. In my own life, I’ve noticed at times I am dry because of unresolved trauma, unforgiveness, lack of motivation, overwhelming feelings , sin cycles, etc. However, I want to encourage anyone struggling with this that as consuming as dryness can be at times this scripture reminds us that God is our Sustainer!
Isaiah 58:11 reminds us that
“The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”Isaiah 58:11
As a kid, I used to be obsessed with Play-Doh. I was fascinated with the idea that I could form things with my hands. However like most kids, I wasn’t always responsible about taking care of my toys or play-doh. This often resulted in my play-doh becoming dry and crumbly. If I am being honest, I have felt like that dry crumbly Play-Doh more times than I can count.
Perhaps similar to the dried out Play-Doh, I wasn’t properly taking care of my spiritual needs. As cheesy as it sounds, the Play-Doh container is similar to the armor of God. When we aren’t seeking the Lord and His Word we will continually be spiritually thirsty. My Pastor recently reminded our church that spiritual hunger and thirst cannot be fulfilled by fleshly substitutions– that struck a nerve. It convicted me. It made me look through my own thought patterns and habits. How many times have I been spiritually thirsty, aware of it and still didn’t act upon it?
I have tried to fill pain with temporary pleasures that only feed the flesh. I have tried to fill voids in my life with relationships with people. I have tried to subdue PTSD from childhood trauma with self harm. At times, parts of my life didn’t just feel dry, they felt like deserts. But can I remind the person feeling this way that we serve a God who makes rivers in the deserts?! You do not have to be bound by your past. The Word of the Lord tells us
“ Do not remember the former things. Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; shall you know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”Isaiah 43:18-19
In the book of Numbers when the Israelites were in the wilderness there was no source of water for them to drink from. They were so burdened by their thirst that they even thought they were going to die! I want to tell whoever is reading this to know that you are not meant to die in your wilderness. You are not meant to die of desperate dehydration. The Israelites’ desperation should have led them to desperately call out to the Lord. I mean they saw He was able to PART the Red Sea, so surely He could make a way for their thirst to be quenched. But nah, they let what they could see before their eyes affect how they perceived the Lord and what He was capable of. That’s alright though because the Lord still showed up and showed out in their unbelief. How many times do we forget the faithfulness of God when we are presented with new challenges? However, if He did it then, He will do it again. You want to know why? The answer is because He is the One who was, who is, and who is to come! He’s the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. Now let me reign back in, the story continues that the Lord spoke to Moses, He told him to take his rod and
“Speak before the congregation before their eyes, and it will yield its water, thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock and give drink to the congregation and their animals“Numbers 20:7-8
Verse 11 continues to say that
“Moses lifted His hand and struck the rock twice with his rod: and water came out abundantly; and the congregation and their animals drank”Numbers 20:11
I want to note that it doesn’t say that the water dripped out, or streamed out lightly, it says that it came out ABUNDANTLY.
Now let me tell you, the Lord has poured out His living water upon every single dry crack and place in my life. You see the Lord’s living water, doesn’t just quench our physical thirst, but our spiritual thirst. I find the attributes of water fascinating. Water is the vessel of baptism in the precious name of Jesus for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Like baptism, water is cleansing and refreshing. Another characteristic of water is that it is the key ingredient in growth in every context of life. Plants, animals, and people all need water to grow, to live. We need the living water, the Spirit of the Lord, to fill us, and guide our lives. We cannot fulfill the calling on our lives, our very purpose of life, without the Spirit of the Lord.
Do you recall the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-13? For a refresher, the Lord gave Ezekiel a vision of dry bones in a vast valley. The Lord asks Ezekiel if these dry bones could live, and he played it safe by replying “O Lord God, You know”. The Lord then commanded him to “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘ O dry bones hear the Word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones : surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.” (Ezekiel 37:4-5)
After prophesying these dry bones became full lively armies. The Lord revived and restored these bones ! I actually went through a dry period very recently and the Lord took me to this story. He reminded me that sometimes you have to lay hands over yourself and tell your own dry bones to HEAR the Word of the Lord and to live in the name of Jesus. We know that Christ was resurrected from the dead. However, we often forget that He was not just resurrected. He is the resurrection! We have that same resurrecting power in each of us today. We have the ability to revive and restore our own dry bones in the name of Jesus!
If you are battling with spiritual dryness you must go into the secret place with the Lord. You need to remind and redeclare that you are the clay and He is the potter. In order to be used by God and to get out of the dry period simultaneously, you must surrender. Surrender your pain, surrender your pride, and surrender your sin.
At times, I find myself being clay, but tearing a chunk of clay off myself and putting it on the Potter’s wheel. I just want God to use my skills, the things I excel in. However, the Lord didn’t come for those who had it all together. He came for those who are broken. He came for me and He came for you. You must surrender your whole self to the Potter’s wheel. I think what has made me apprehensive of putting my whole self on the wheel is shame and fear. I felt shameful for the Lord to see all my mistakes and fearful of the kneading that comes along with being on the wheel. I am beyond thankful that He reminded me of Romans 8:1 which states that
“There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus , who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”Romans 8:1
Jesus does not want our relationship with Him to be strained by shame. You can be free from those chains, right here right now. I was once fearful of the kneading of the Potter. If I am being honest, accepting correction hasn’t always been my strong suit. However, I am learning it is for my good, my betterment, it equips me to be a better Christian. I want to wrap up by reminding the one who is feeling like dry and crumbly Play-Doh (or clay for you sophisticated folk 😉 that the Lord can pour out His living water, His Spirit, upon you again to revive, reshape, and restore you!
He’s sitting at the wheel, waiting for you to surrender. Go talk with Him today, it will be refreshing to your soul.