What does renewal look like? Is it necessary?
For so long I get this high from my studies and can really feel God moving in my life. This time is always followed by a lull or a low point. I don’t necessarily mean that I have fallen away or am neglecting God, but it’s just not the same. The fire is dim. My drive is diminished. Then what? I feel guilty. I feel like I am letting Him down. That I am not doing what I am supposed to do as a Christian. Somehow I should be writing devotions every day and reading books of the Bible every month and having these revelations after prayer. Sometimes those things don’t happen. What if that’s okay? What if God planned that too?
Let’s change the way we view the ups and downs of our faith journey. Those low points are intentional. God is still moving, it just looks and feels different. There are a couple of things that are required of us to make sure these “lows” are not negative and that we are present with God even when we are tired or the fire is dim.
- Give thanks. Even when I am drained or don’t feel like opening my Bible and doing a study, I still have time and energy to say thank you. Never let the low point be without thanks. Remeber that God is moving and that there are things to be thankful for. Recall the past few days and weeks and take note of the small things that God did for you. A well-timed cup of coffee. A good workout. Dinner with a loved one. Find your reasons to be thankful. They always exist.
- Celebrate rest. See this time as rest. God wants you to rest. Be present in the moment and don’t be overcome with guilt. It’s okay that you haven’t done a morning quiet time in two weeks. It’s okay that you forgot to pray over a meal. Celebrate the quietness. Understand that you need it.
- Faith in the slowness. Trust that God is in charge. Believe in your heart that the slowness is necessary and that God is planning something for you. You are being prepared for whenever that next high comes. God needs you to slow down, so take heart in that. Don’t beat yourself up or feel like you’re slipping. God won’t let you. Maybe the business of your life is creating this low spot. The slowness of your faith is intentional. Recognize and have faith that God is still working.
- Wait (Psalm 130: 5-6) “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.” This is the hardest part. When will the low be over? When will I snap out of this funk? When the time is right. We are not in control. God’s timing is perfect. So wait. You are not in control. Be patient and if you are taking these small steps you will be prepared to answer when God calls.
I’ve been in this season since Easter. Once I stopped writing devotionals and that accountability was gone, so was my drive and eagerness to study God’s word. I have been viewing myself as lazy and unfaithful. I have been praying and reading some, but it’s not enough, right? God’s wants us to be on all the time. Right? I think wrong. I think God planned this time. I can look at these past few weeks and be grateful, and celebrate, have faith, and ultimately wait. Wait for God’s timing.
Today is Saturday, May 19th. As I started writing and had already named this renewal, I got an update from my Bible app. This is the verse of the day, today:
2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Here’s the deal. This does not always happen. For weeks I’ve prayed for words to say and things to write and today I made time and God showed up. He planned this.