“And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.”
1 Samuel 3:1b
At times in our lives, the word of the Lord can seem rare. We may not hear Him speak to our hearts, not feel His presence strongly, not receive evident guidance or revelation of who He is. Our lives have different seasons we must walk through. And each of them is purposed by our God to strengthen our faith, increase our love, and show us His faithfulness and goodness toward us.
But what are we to do when faced with a dry season and our Lord seems silent? We press on. “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3).
God has not left you. He may have stepped out of the spotlight so that you would pursue Him more, that you would be strengthened in the challenge and reminded of how much you need Him. Sometimes we forget our desperation and longing for the Word of God to be living and active. It becomes normal and commonplace. We no longer recognize that only the Spirit of God makes it come alive and opens our eyes to its value.
So perhaps God has us here in a wilderness because He wants us to know that His voice is powerful and full of majesty. He wants us to soak up His Word and see it as treasure and life, to cry out to Him for a fresh and powerful outpouring of His Holy Spirit. “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isaiah 41:17-18).
The God of the Heavens wants us to be filled with all His fullness. Maybe this season of unknowns, this season of dryness, is purposed to rid us of that which hinders our relationship with Him. To be filled with all His fullness means we are emptied of ourselves and cleansed from the unrighteousness that builds barriers, darkens our hearts, and tears down our lives.
This time is not meant to cause us to seek elsewhere to be filled or conclude that our God has forgotten or abandoned us. It is meant to compel our hearts and minds to seek Him resolutely, ridding our lives of sinful and dishonoring habits that pull us away from our Life and Joy.
Seasons when we cannot seem to hear or see the Lord, to recognize His hand or understand His workings, let us declare as King Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20:12, “For we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” May our eyes be ever toward our Lord, trusting as Job did in Job 23:8-10, “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (emphasis added).
It is not an easy season…but when we hold fast, it renews our wonder and passion for the God who saves us, the God who is “clothed with splendor and majesty, covering [Himself] with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent” (Psalm 104:1-2).
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God…
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed.”
Isaiah 40:3, 5a
“Even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.”