I’ve been working on a women’s Bible study on Jeremiah and have been straining to hear God’s voice each step of this way. I’m almost done and this week I struggled to connect, to hear the Holy Spirit, and to shake the empty feelings. Plenty is going on around me – kids finishing up last weeks of school, preparing for a visit from family in Canada, working on the summer schedule. But in the midst of it, I feel blah. Where are you God? What are you trying to teach me? Is there sin I need to confess or are my hormones just out of whack?
Then this morning in my daily reading – loud and clear – God shows up. Right in the pages of 1 Samuel 7. For 20 years the Israelites were going through the motions and “during that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the Lord had abandoned them.” There wasn’t destruction and judgment. Just silence. Blah.
Samuel sees their emptiness and loneliness for their Creator and says, “If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then He will rescue you.” It goes on to say, “They also went without food all day and confessed that they had sinned against the Lord.”
What’s so amazing is that on my run this morning I was contemplating my funk and felt God calling me to fast today and get in His presence. How cool to open His Word when I got home and see this about –
- Determining to obey God and get rid of counterfeits.
- Taking a day without food to focus on listening to God.
- Confessing sin.
How can I stay in the Blahs after seeing God confirm so clearly the path out of it? I certainly struggle with other things taking God’s place in my heart (idolatry) and continually need to confess my harsh words, judgemental attitudes, and bad choices. Now the funny thing is that just as Israel was setting a course out of the blahs… they got attacked. Literally. “Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel.” What a bummer. Just as they start on the right path of obedience and intimacy with God, it gets tested.
Yet, the God they hadn’t seen move in 20 years “spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them.” Talk about breaking the silence.
“Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means ‘the stone of help’), for he said, ‘up to this point the Lord has helped us!” So when God seemed silent in the future, they could look at the stone of help and remember the day God spoke loudly. I couldn’t help but think of my rock of escape a few blog posts ago.
Not sure where you are today, but I’m remembering my Ebenezer from earlier this month on a hike through Dinosaur Valley when I felt God’s unmistakeable presence. (the Rock of Escape) Though this week has felt blah – I know He is here. I’m looking forward to coming out of this dryness just knowing that as I determine to obey, confess my sin, and spend the day with His Word as my food, He will meet me. I’ve got my eye out for an attack as I step out in faith, but I know who holds the ultimate victory.
If your feeling blah today too – join me in pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly until the silence is broken. I’d love to hear about your own Ebenezers as your gettin’ over the blahs.