I’ve written before about having “dry,” uninspiring times, and I have yet again been slogging through another one. For most Christians, identifying our desperate need for the Lord is not the problem. The problem is that we seem to have lost him!
CS Lewis described this feeling of abandonment in A Grief Observed. He was desperately missing his deceased wife, but the door to her was shut and the door to Christ’s comfort appeared to be shut as well. Finally he realized that “the very intensity of the longing” was blocking off the consolation he sought (45). During such times, Lewis determined, “your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear.” And then he concluded. “After all, you must have a capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can’t give” (46).
“A capacity to receive” the voice we hope to hear. Of course. The frustrated “cries” that have been deafening me are my own self-effort and self-dependence. I was going into my daily prayer time “like a drowning man who can’t be helped because he clutches and grabs” (Lewis 46).
Trying to pull Christ into our lives in this way, into our plans or into our problems, closes our “capacity to receive.” With these words from Lewis, the dry spell was over. The Lord is always waiting for us in these moments of yielding and surrender. (Living Large, chapter 25)