Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The ‘Form Slump’, ‘If’ and Spiritual Dryness

EVER noticed this phenomenon of life, that incidentally is reflective also of the faith journey post-salvation? There is an initial period in any endeavour where all goes swimmingly – everything we touch is golden and blessed.
Then, in the second season, there is a period of testing. In sporting terms it is the form slump. In faith terms it’s a period of spiritual dryness. In sporting terms it’s the flailing technical issues – we cannot score or perform anything how we’d like or we are consistently beaten, despite our best efforts. In faith terms, God isn’t anywhere close (or so it seems), or there is a period where we feel excluded, undervalued or unappreciated.
Second seasons, a term we may use for those confounding periods of frustration, are paradoxically the seasons of vast and unparalleled growth – though we are loath to see it. Times of inextricable inner torment, even as we put on the ‘brave face’, take us into a kind of despair that is palpable for growth – if we will go to God with it, be honest, and seek to join the journey with his purposes.
‘If’ Is a Big Word with Grand Stature for Growth
Notwithstanding how you may feel about this theory of growth, it is what it is, and there is nothing you and anyone may do about it.
Growth occurs in the seedbed of trial.
Yet evidence of growth is usually only detectable after we have germinated and blossomed much later on in the piece.
But there is a second, critical element in the growth journey – and it has an inherent ‘if’ nested within it.
During second seasons of trial, where the simple things are seemingly unachievable, and relationships are trending south despite our efforts of grace, we can only grow if we are prepared to submit these things to God, to own our despair, and to surrender our darkness before his Throne to partake in the healing of his grace.
Second seasons for growth are ‘if’ seasons. Suffering is only the first half of the equation. The second half is the ‘if’ half. Can we be humbled in our humiliation? Can we surrender when every sinew in us wants to scream for justice because of pride? Will we allow God to be Sovereign (he is and always will be, so why do we rail against that which we cannot hope to change?).
Growth occurs in the seedbed of trial.
If we are prepared to accept that God’s greatest work in us is when we are under a tremendous burden of trial, this horrible hour will be our Magnum Opus – to the Lord’s unparalleled Glory.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.