We are in a “dry season” here in Florida. We desperately need some rain. We will get through the dry season and the rain will return. In the same way, we can go through dry seasons spiritually. Yes, we will get through it and yes, the rains of God’s blessing will return.
A dry season can be a season of discouragement, disillusionment, difficulties, and even doubt. It can seem that God is not present, not speaking, not leading, and not seen. It can feel like dull, mundane drudgery, like dragging a barge across a desert.
We all experience those times of spiritual dryness, lack of vitality, lack of vision, lack of purpose, and lack of life. Yes, even pastors go through dry seasons.
So, how do I get through a dry season in my life and ministry? There are five principles that can help us get through a dry season.
Principle 1 – Keep a daily quiet time
Psalm 119:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
There is no substitute for daily time alone in God’s Word. When we go through a dry season, the tendency is to neglect the Word of God. We do this because we just don’t have the energy or the focus to spend time in God’s Word. In the dry season, every spiritual discipline becomes a chore.
Principle 2 – Keep in fellowship with other believers
Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
In the dry season, we tend to withdraw from others because we just don’t have the energy to interact with them. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ speaking grace, truth, and encouragement into our lives. It is more difficult for the enemy to lie to us when we are surrounded by those who are speaking truth into our lives. Here’s another important note: Be honest enough with others to share with them that you are going through a dry season and ask them to pray for you.
Principle 3 – Keep a clean heart
1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
In a dry season it is easy to become careless about confession of sin and neglect of our relationship with God. The dry season is an important season of spiritual growth and maturity. We don’t want to allow sin to compound the problem and keep us from moving forward in our faith. Ask God to show you anything that needs to be confessed and then take it to the Lord for forgiveness and cleansing.
You may not feel like God is present or listening but we know from Scripture that He is there and He is willing to hear our prayers. (Hebrews 13:5-6; Proverbs 28:13; Ephesians 1:7)
Principle 4 – Keep on serving
Psalm 100:2 – “Serve the Lord with gladness…”
In the dry season, the tendency is for us to become focused on ourselves and how we feel. We are tired, we don’t have energy, and we lack the vitality to serve others. Yet, the happiest people I know are the ones who are serving others. One of the secrets to breaking out of a dry season is to keep serving others. It takes the focus off self and places it on others.
Principle 5 – Keep on rejoicing.
Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Paul wrote those words from a jail cell. Joy is not dependent on our circumstances. We can have joy even in the dry places, the dry seasons of life. Why? Because we know God is in control and He loves us with an unfailing love.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, when you are in the dry season, when you just don’t have the energy to go one more step, it is important to remember those two truths: God is in control and God loves you deeply. May I also suggest that in your rejoicing you think of three things each day for which you are grateful. Make it part of your daily quiet time. Write it in your journal. Gratefulness helps us defeat the self-centeredness of the dry seasons.
Pastor, if you are going through a dry season right now, you don’t have to do it alone. Care for Pastors is ready to help you find your way back to renewal, thriving in ministry, and spiritual vitality. Reach out to us at careforpastors.org