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When You're Feeling Spiritually Dry

Written by Renée Miller

There are times when God feels as palpable and near as the breath passing through our nostrils. Perhaps we’ve had some kind of religious experience, or we’ve suddenly recognized an answer to prayer, or we’ve felt hope in the midst of hopelessness. We cherish those moments like we do the first feelings of love, and try to keep them close by, where they will be safe and continue to nourish us.

But the days pass along. New encounters slip into our lives, pain encroaches and leaves us raw, arguments tamper with our peace, and stress coils snakelike in our soul, squeezing out joy. As we respond to all these changes, we find ourselves losing our hold on the memories of closeness with God that once were so potent and real. We hardly notice at first.

Then a moment comes when we start to feel something akin to thirst. Our souls feel arid and scratchy. Our inner life seems as cavernous as a dark, dry cave rugged with sharp stones. We feel drained of the moisture of God’s grace. We cast about trying to see what situations and people in our lives are to blame for our malaise, when what is really needed is to turn ourselves away from the situations, the encounters, and the stress and enter a space where we can meet again the One who fills the thirst of our soul with love and hope. It is not action but non-action that is required.

We need a time to refrain from analysis in order to feel the spirit of heaven. We need to be the open flower ready to drink in the sun.

Tip to try:
When you are feeling dryness in your soul, go to a place where you can be in the presence of water—near a lake, a pond, the ocean, a water fountain, or take a walk in the rain. If you are unable to go to a large body of water, fill a large bowl with water and sit near it. As you look at and hear the movement of the water, close your eyes and imagine that the water that is life-giving is being poured into your soul. Imagine how your soul’s scratchiness is soothed by the wetness that comes from God’s love. Take a moment to thank God for the gift and grace of water, and for the replenishment of moisture to your soul. As a final meditation, drink a glass of pure water very slowly and mindfully, with gratitude in your heart.


Copyright ©2007 Renée Miller