Does drought bring doubt?
As I sat quietly in church yesterday taking in all the pastor was preaching, I couldn’t help but reflect on my past experiences and wonder: does drought in my life bring doubt to my faith?
The sermon was about “A Life of Worship.”
Do I worship and thank God only in my times of abundance and good or do I rejoice in my droughts?
I’ve lived through many droughts.
Financial: those times when I just couldn’t see the end of the day and believe that there was enough money to make ends meet. Again.
Emotional: those times when my heart was heavy and my soul empty. I had nothing to give to anyone. I was spent, depleted, exhausted. The fog was heavy and thick and the blackness just seemed to creep in around me and steal the light. I couldn’t feel love from anyone, not even God.
Relationship: Those times when my trust level was so low that no matter how I tried, I couldn’t connect to my husband, family, friends. I couldn’t even connect with myself for that matter and God was so far away I almost forgot He was there.
Physical: Those times where I had no energy to do anything. My body hurt. My muscles hurt. My knees hurt. Everything hurt.
I choose the word DROUGHT today because I am exhausted from living from one crisis to another and thought there might be a better way to look at the experiences in my life so they aren’t so daunting. This word seemed to fit the bill.
Last July, as my husband and I took the 5 freeway south from visiting the kids in Washington and Oregon we passed Lake Shasta. I was horrified to see how far the water had gone down and how there were small little islands beginning to poke their heads up through the water. Those islands had never been there before. Oh wait…Yes they had, but the water had covered them and now they were visible to everyone.
I wondered what would happen if the rains never came or the snow didn’t fall this year. I wondered….
And the thought came to me that it really depends more on what I’m looking with, more than what I’m looking at.
Do I see the glass as half empty or half full? Do I see life and my circumstances from the point of a victim or a victor? Am I being punished by God for something I did or maybe something I didn’t do? Am I always looking for the “Why me” answers to questions I don’t understand?
When I looked through the trees to see the deep blue waters in Lake Shasta, where did my focus go? It went to the lack of water instead of the abundance of water. There were both, but I was looking what was missing rather than what was there.
Did I see the beautiful houseboats that lazily lingered on the edge of a cozy cove? Or the ski boats pulling water-skiers behind them, jumping the wake as they flew through the air? No. I saw the drought.
And then I got scared. I began with the “What ifs.” What is there is no rain? What is the snow doesn’t fall? What if the drought never stops, and what if we run out of water forever?
What happens to me when I am in a drought? What do I see?
It begins with being mindful that there is a God and He loves me, more than I can possibly know or understand. He is my provider, my counselor, my healer, my Savior. He is my everything and yet when I am living in my droughts, why do I let me mind fill with doubts?
Probably because I’m human. My default position is fear. It’s what I learned growing up. Fear filled my childhood home. It lived under my parent’s consciousness and without ever saying a word, their energy flowed right over into me. Their fear became mine and permeated my cells. It became part of my DNA and has lived inside of me for a long time.
That’s why when I don’t stop to breathe, pray or even think I am moved immediately into the fear of the unknown.
But when I can sit for a few minutes, be still and go quiet, I can hear the voice of God begin to whisper reminders that He is here. He is bigger than all my fears. He is bigger than all my circumstances. He is bigger than every drought.
When I am being sucked into yet another form of drought, I now make a choice to be mindful. I take time to sit and breathe and let me my heart start soaking in the love of God that is always there waiting for me. I open up and accept what the reassurance and peace He has for me. I listen. I praise Him. I write in my gratitude journal all the blessings I am surrounded with.
What does God reveal to me when the droughts come? Is there a little island of sanity living below my faith waters that I have never seen before? Are there other ways to look at my situations that could create a stronger reliance on God? Could the message possibly be to just relax and stop trying so hard to understand something that is impossible to figure out and turn to the faith I have inside me and trust that God has gone before me and planned my entire life out in love?
It all seems so complicated and yet so simple.
God dwells in Me and You. He lives there because He loves us and desires each of us to know Him and trust him. To live a life of worship through gratitude and thankfulness.
So the questions I leave with you that was left with me yesterday is this….If I am given God’s mercy every day, is what I am doing and thinking right now….Giving Him glory?