Faithful in the Wilderness

For the past many months of my life I have been in a terrifying place I have come to call my own “wilderness.” With each passing day I am stifling the silent need to scream as I realize that I have spent another 24 hours without significant time in prayer, worship or studying the Word. I am at a loss. I miss my Heavenly Father’s presence but I do not know how to get back to Him. Praying feels like I am talking to myself. I know He hears me but it is so different from my previous experience in prayers when I could tell the Holy Spirit Himself was praying through me. Reading my Bible comes in bits and pieces, definitely not daily. I am overwhelmed sometimes with guilt for not studying the Word as I should. Other times, I am frustrated because reading the Word feels like an exercise in futility because I cannot wrap my head around how to apply what I am reading in order to grow in Christ. These are all things that use to come easy and it breaks my heart to find myself at this place where it seems that I have totally drifted from intimacy with God.

By God’s keeping grace, I am not living in lawlessness or entertaining worldliness but neglecting the vital aspects of my walk with Christ feels like the epitome of willful sin. This place is utterly terrifying. People still look to me for counsel and endeavor to hold me up as a good example so I feel like I am failing not only God but also my siblings in Christ.

Since getting married and becoming a mother, life has sped up dramatically. My time is no longer my own to the same extent as it was when I was a single woman. This lack of time is not really my issue though. My issue feels like a emotional or spiritual block. Most of the time, I think it is simply a lack of discipline on my part. If I could just exercise discipline in opening my Bible every night before bed and not leaving the house in the morning without seeking my Savior’s face. The longer I spend away from the presence of God, the harder it feels to get back to Him. Sundays are a welcomed reprieve. Something special happens when I am in corporate worship with other believers. Sundays, Wednesday and Friday services at my church feel like rain on my parched spirit. I wish it could be like this in my own time with God. Sometimes I read a verse or passage in the Bible and it makes me so thankful for God’s faithfulness. He is faithful even when I am not. When others request prayers, the Lord helps me to pray for them. That typically comes easy. Praying for myself leaves me lost. Studying to teach comes easy, studying for my own edification leaves me unsatisfied. I do not have a quick fix for this. I am grateful for the people in my life who pray for me since I do not seem to know how to pray myself. My biggest prayer is that God will teach me to be faithful in this wilderness – that I will not abandon the God of my salvation.

A lot is riding on my success in Christ, most notable the future of my precious son and the well being of my household. I have no choice but to have faith in God to do what feels absolutely impossible to do in my own strength. The God who has been faithful in my wilderness will teach me to do the same.

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