This Summer has brought mixed emotions for me. We had a fabulous week’s holiday with our sons and family friends in July. Then I came back to August. Such a strange month for me. No regular midweek small groups, friends away on holiday or busy with their children, people away serving at a Youth Event, Sunday mornings depleted. It’s a season without routine and regular fellowship.
I am a people person, I really need other people around me. It’s with people that I derive stimulation, where ideas emerge, where I am inspired and encouraged. Each year the school holidays can be difficult for me. I feel alone and isolated and I can easily become dry spiritually. This year I just felt very flat. From past experience I knew that I needed to make arrangements to see people but this year it just didn’t seem to work out. Even friends who were coming on holiday with us cancelled. There were many days when I was working from home and didn’t speak to anyone from the time my husband left for work until he came home again. For some of you, I know, this would be your idea of bliss but not me!
At times like these I can struggle with negative thoughts, “I haven’t got any friends”, nobody ever calls me, etc. It’s because it is a vulnerable time for me. We all have them. We need to know ourselves and be prepared. The bible warns us to be watchful as the enemy is “like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8) I don’t want to present myself as easy pickings to him. I need to take action. The trouble is that it takes me a while to realise or notice what is happening. For me there is a subtle slide towards feeling low before I notice that I’m not doing so well.
When at last I realise what is happening, I begin to consciously “draw from the wells of salvation” (Is.12:3) Drawing water from a well is physically demanding and time-consuming. If you are thirsty, you may become even more thirsty as you haul on the rope to draw water. You need to keep going.
What are the wells of Salvation? I like to think of them as the deep places in my soul where I have stored up promises, past experiences of God’s goodness, truth about God (and me) and where the living water that Jesus talked about to the Samaritan Woman bubbles up.
How do I draw water from these wells? Firstly I have to start; this is often so hard when we are in a difficult or dry season. Secondly I have to work at it; I need to make it my priority and to give time to it. (When I am feeling low I can become so lethargic and lacking in energy that everything feels too difficult.) Thirdly I need to keep going; it’s no good reading one verse of the Bible and saying that didn’t work! Lastly I revisit old journals, prophetic words and our book of answered prayer which really encourage me. They are like the memorial stones put up by the children of Israel to commemorate what God had done and to be a lasting reminder for anyone who revisits them.
Of course I ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in all of these things because He is the One God sent to be with us and help us.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”( Jn. 14:26)
Not only this but the Holy Spirit fellowships with us. He talks to us and encourages us. What an amazing provision of God He is to us!
Was I still lonely? Yes I was at times but I know that this is a season and soon life will be very full and busy again. I know too that my Father is with me in every season and He never leaves me.
We all have seasons that are different, a bit dry, or just flat or even very happy; at times like these we need find God in and through our circumstances.
So to those of you who have wondered why there has been no blog, or indeed where have I been. I’ve been drawing water from the wells of salvation. In fact not only drawing water but swimming in it, luxuriating in the life-giving river of God.
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All other photos: pixabay
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