One summer my son came home from teen camp all excited and encouraged about his walk with God. I remember him trying to express to me the desire he had to read His Bible and spend time with the Lord. He found it difficult to express what he was feeling – the hunger that drove him to hear a word from God. I thought of the verse in Psalm 42:1
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
My son had been faithfully reading His Bible daily up till camp, but without even realizing it, he had been in a spiritual dry spell. He no longer was really eager to read his Bible but kept at it because he knew it was important. He didn’t approach it with eager anticipation, but rather a sense of duty. It had gotten stale, or old – just a ritual. When he came out of the dry spot, he realized where he had been. All of you can probably relate to this. In the Christian life, it is normal to have “dry spots” – times where we lose our zeal for God; times that we read His Word but come away with nothing. What do you do when you are in a dry spot? Some ideas that have helped me:
4 Tips For Getting Through Spiritual Dry Spells
1. Change your Bible reading plan.
If you find you are struggling to get anything out of your Bible reading, maybe it’s time to switch from reading through the Bible in a year, and instead start reading a chapter a day. Reading less often makes me slow down, and I am able to get something out of that one chapter. My kids have read the Bible through several times from the time they were about 9 up through their teen years, and usually, they did it on a schedule that took them a year. Sometimes I could tell they were reading, but not comprehending much – they were just threading the words through their eyes. They weren’t gleaning a thought or two to take with them through the day, or a new idea to help them in their walk with God. When I sensed that, I would praise them for their faithfulness in taking the time daily to keep the commitment of reading their Bible through that year. Then I would encourage them that it was okay to take a break from that and read less each day, but seek a nugget of wisdom from what they read.
2. Read in a book of the Bible that has always blessed you.
If you are in a difficult season in life, sometimes it helps to go back to reading from Psalms and Proverbs. They are valuable for practical advice. No matter what you are going through, there is a verse for it in these books. I can always get something that speaks to my heart and helps me throughout the day.
3. Listen to a narrated version of the Bible.
You can follow along in your Bible or just listen. Recently I downloaded a Bible app on my phone that reads the passages out loud, and I started listening to it every morning while I’m fixing my hair, putting on my make-up, etc. That way I start my morning off hearing & thinking about God’s Word, and before I can be distracted by other things. We also have a set of CDs with a narrated, dramatized version of the Bible, and the expression that is used makes it very interesting to listen to. Sometimes hearing the Bible read with expression makes it come alive, and keeps your attention. In these spiritual seasons, I tend to get more out of the listening, than the reading, because the expression draws me in. The stories especially come to life when dramatized.
4. Keep reading your Bible daily, even when your heart isn’t in it.
Why? Because it’s the right thing to do! The Bible is our guidebook for life. We are told to study it, to meditate on it, to obey it, etc. It’s a vital part of knowing God and walking in His ways. When you find yourself in the midst of a spiritual dry spell and feel you’re not getting much from God’s Word, remember that the Bible cleanses us spiritually as we read it. It is like running water through a strainer. The water passes right through it, but in so doing, it tends to cleanse it. It’s okay to read less, or change plans. It’s okay to “listen” rather than read. The key thing is we need to keep getting God’s Word into our minds. The important thing is to stay faithful!
Whether you’re in a spiritual dry spell and don’t know why, or you want to avoid one altogether, these 4 tips can help.
1) Change your Bible Reading Plan
2) Read In A Book Of The Bible That Has Always Blessed You
3) Listen To A Narrated Version Of The Bible
4) Keep Reading Your Daily Devotions Even When Your Heart Isn’t In It.
We have faith that God will bless all of our efforts–even when at first they seem fruitless! Don’t give up.