I try to make things seem as normal as possible. Lots of things are still the same, in truth. Household chores, lawn care, kids, daily stuff… My brain finds solace in routines: a way to move from one task to the next without really thinking, some might even say “ignoring the situation.” I wonder if that is a defense mechanism of some sort. A way for my heart to disengage in an effort to make things seem normal. I have felt numb for weeks now.
So, I was surprised to be suddenly suppressing tears on my way home from church Sunday night. Jeff had come to evening services with us. (No longer able to sit upright for very long, he listens to the service over a speaker in the pastor’s office where he can lie down on a couch.) Afterwards, I watched him walk his unsteady walk and stand waiting for me to come lead him to the car.
The ups and downs get to a person, especially when it seems there aren’t very many ups anymore. I hate seeing Jeff in pain. And in my frustration over it all, I’m afraid I’m not the comforter I ought to be.
With the increased weakness and intensifying pain come the questions “How bad might this get?” and “How much longer before things get really bad?” And then sometimes, when he is feeling comfortable, I think he could do this for a long while yet. I have no idea what to expect.
This is a dry and thirsty land, spiritually-speaking. This weariness of walking on with unanswered prayer. Does Jesus care? I can say with certainty that he does.
I’ve been through dry spells before—periods when my Christian growth seems stalled even while I am truly desiring His presence. Have you been there? You are thirsting for God, for evidence of His working in your life, but He seems elusive.
Could it be that He has designed this time as well? It would seem so. For when we are desperate for His presence, His leading, His comfort, no earthly substitute will satisfy. Like the Psalmist, I cry out “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. –Ps. 63:1
The Bible promises relief: For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: --Isa. 44:3
A friend read a passage to me this morning from Revelation 21 describing what the future holds for believers in Jesus:
1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Freely! No more dry spells! We will be whole. We will be satisfied in the presence of God.
And so having been reminded of these truths, I determine to keep walking. I keep asking. I keep longing for God. Knowing this: that He has always proven faithful, and He is bound by His essence to continue in that faithfulness. I will keep trusting.