Coming Out of the Desert — He Restores My Soul!
When spiritual dryness hits, we should not delay in developing a plan of action to be replenished with the living water of Christ.
By David Horner
The thirst that takes over when spiritual dryness sets in can make us desperate enough to drink from any source, but we know this is unwise and could lead to even greater problems than thirst. If the source is contaminated, or even worse, poisoned, we can do more harm than good.
On a mission trip to Haiti, a few of us decided to hike over the mountain at the edge of the plains where we were working so we could see the ocean and enjoy the view. Our guide assured us it was not too far, so off we went with only one canteen of water for the four of us.
We decided to wait until we reached the top of the mountain to have a drink, in spite of the scorching sun and baked sand under our feet. Imagine our dismay when we reached the top and discovered this was only the first mountain between the sea and us.
Our guide again assured us the sea was not far, so we took a drink and started our descent so we could ascend what we assumed would be that last mountain. A couple of hours later, we realized the futility of this venture. No matter how far we managed to go, there was always another mountain. We realized we would need to ration our water if we were going to make it back without someone passing out.
We did make it back, but we were absolutely worn-out and felt completely dehydrated. We rushed to a small stand selling Cokes and Fantas. I bought two Cokes and guzzled the first one. The second one I savored, because it was not only wet, but cold. But something unexpected happened. Although there was immediate relief, the high sugar content of the soft drinks made me thirstier. The satisfaction I needed could only come from a pure source of water.
When you need refreshment due to spiritual dryness, make sure your remedy is one that really satisfies. Many people in ministry find that times of dryness push them to find solutions that further exaggerate their problem. Some will immerse themselves more deeply in the same circumstances that got them into that condition. Others will try inappropriate solutions that appear to offer help but soon prove to be inadequate and harmful. The only way to find a satisfying remedy is to follow a course that leads you back into the fullness of the presence of the Lord.
DAVID HORNER, senior pastor, Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh North Carolina. This article is adapted from “Coming Out of the Desert,” in A Practical Guide for Life and Ministry, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2008. Used by permission.
Read the rest of this article by obtaining a downloadable PDF of the Winter 2011 issue of Enrichment journal.