Seasons of spiritual dryness: the cusp of breakthrough
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
– James 1:4
The feeling of spiritual numbness or failure can be extremely painful. It's something everyone experiences, and I've experienced it time and time again. Especially after very bright and encouraging times (camps, retreats, accomplishments, et cetera), it seems like the soul must dip back down after only a moment of time.
Generally, folks try to persevere through these seasons with the old fake-it-until-you-make-it method. The disservice that does to us is profound. It doesn't change anything or grow our life experience...and remember, Jesus came that we may have life and life more abundantly, so faking it probably isn't the Way. Be unafraid and honest, God's not an insecure little man.
What has been helpful to me in the past is remembering that those times are when I'm on the cusp of breakthrough.
While on a silent retreat at San Damiano I heard someone say, "When it's easy, you don't really know whether you're growing at all or just cruising through life unaffected by Christ. When it's difficult, that's when you know you're really facing a challenge in you're internal programming." The fact that it's challenging says that you're headed in the right direction for BREAKTHROUGH!
When you hit a wall, that's a good thing! It means that you've hit a boundary in your sensitivity to Christ, Who is all and in is all. You've reached a limitation of your own, not Christ's. The Christian faith is all about freedom, while walls are about confinement.
When I hit a wall in my sensitivity to Christ's Divine presence, I ask myself, "Why? Am I expecting Christ's presence to look differently than it does? Am I desiring the 'emotion or excitement of Christ's presence' more than the simple abiding Presence of Christ?" It has helped me greatly to continuously rid myself of expectations. Do I expect God to be or feel a certain way? When my answer is yes, I am usually missing the point entirely. The Lord of Love is within you, in all, and through all. Now. Is that too underwhelming? When my answer is yes, it says more about my understand and faith than it does Christ. Then, I've hit a wall. Time to breakthrough into a deeper and greater reality than my emotions are familiar with!
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
– 2 Thessalonians 3:5