On the Mississippi Gulf Coast it has been over two months without a significant amount of rain. Everything green is turning brown, even trees are starting to show stress. In a dry spell, a drought like this, it is hard to think back to the time when the lawns and ponds and rivers were at normal levels. It’s hard to imagine what the landscape should look like.
Dry spells and droughts don’t always refer to the levels of rain and water in landscapes. They can also mean times when faith seems like a rare commodity and the feeling of being emotionally moved by Christianity seems like a dream from a long time ago. These times of faith prove to be stressful times. Maybe it’s because our lives have become too busy to reflect and have reverent silence. Maybe it’s because something traumatic happens and the shock becomes doubt and anger.
No matter what the cause of these dry spells, they will occur even if we think our faith is invincible. The question then becomes, what do we do? Can we just wait it out and hope that the drought ends or can we challenge ourselves to fight for our faith?
It is my experience and opinion that fighting for faith when it seems invisible is necessary to end the dry spell. Fight with intentional times of prayer. Fight with singling out times of the day to reflect and just be in the presence of God. It’s not easy. I know. I myself feel that I’m finally reaching the end of a seven-month dry spell. I fought long and hard, even when I wanted to give up. It is the fighting for our own faith that allows us to see our relationship with God in a new light.
In the darkness of my drought, I began to see that a relationship with God isn’t just spent receiving his grace and love, but that it is also hard work. To keep the relationship alive, it is absolutely necessary to fight past the distractions, the tragedies, and the long periods where we think there is a silence from God.
With me, personally, what ended my dry spell was the ‘aha’ moment I had in church one day. In the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, there is a point where the liturgy says, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” What has always stuck out to me about that is the second part, “Christ is risen.” The grammar of it tells us that every day Christ is risen. Every day can be a resurrection. Every day can be a day where we rise against the darkness and find the light of tomorrow.
The secret to me, is finding that light in every day. Now I look for it.
Margaret Blount Montgomery is a young adult living in Oxford, Mississippi where she reflects on life, Christianity and being 25 in a world (and church) that is not so open to hearing her thoughts.