by Joy Martin, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
It's me, Joy, and I was hoping that we could be frank for a moment. Once again, it's my turn to write a blog. In a perfect world, I'd delight you with some little gem or pearl of wisdom. Or I'd make you laugh with an anecdote about my kids that ends with a nice little moral lesson. Or maybe I'd bring a tear to your eye with some sort of touching story. But today, I fear, that I may not be able to do any of those things. Because today I feel dry.
I'm not sad or anxious or depressed. I'm not struggling to find meaning in life or understand the greater purpose of why I'm here. I'm not feeling attacked or lost or even empty. No, today I simply feel dry. I can't think of any other word to describe it, really.
I have had a crazy busy week, and honestly, it's been a good week. I got a lot done–I worked on a manuscript I'm editing, I did all of my laundry (and even put it away), I cleaned my kitchen and kept up with the dishes, I made my bed nearly every morning, I attended a Bible study at my church, I played in the rain with my children and took Julie to the park. I even got to enjoy a much-needed movie night with my dearest friend of twenty-plus years. Yes, it was a good week. And yet, here I am, feeling dry.
Part of me wishes I could tell you that I don't know why that is. I wish I could say that I've done everything right and that perhaps I'm just having an off day. I wish I could tell you that I was being attacked and needed prayer. I wish that were the case, but it's not. Because the truth is that I know exactly why I feel the way I do. I knew it before I sat down to pray for some sort of inspiration to write this blog. But despite that, God felt it was necessary to remind me anyway. I am grateful for that even though sometimes the truth hurts.
See, the truth is that the reason I feel dry is because I haven't been drinking like I should. Not physical water–I drink plenty of that–but spiritual water, the living water. I have been thirsty, and yet I have not made time to partake in the very thing that can quench my thirst, and that is time with God. I have neglected the one area of my life that I should take the greatest care not to neglect.
In John 15:4-5, Jesus says, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
And that, my friends, is why I am dry. That is why I fear I have nothing to offer other than an honest account of where I have fallen short. In Christ, I can bear much fruit. Without Christ, I can do nothing. This week, I fear, my branch feels barren.
John 4 recounts the story of a Samaritan woman who meets Jesus at a well. During their conversation, in verses 13 and 14, Jesus says to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
It is my prayer that I live and learn. I pray that I can wake up each morning and remember that that which I thirst for is within reach. All I need to do is take the time to open my Bible and drink in the Word of God. And that will quench my thirst in even the driest of times.
With that prayer in mind, I'd like to leave you with this:
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless you while I live;
I will life up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.