Growing older, I've noticed something about myself. As we progress in age, many things change, including (but not limited to) sleeping and eating patterns, physical resistance, and our ability to endure cold temperatures. In my particular case, the one thing more bothersome than I ever would have thought is my skin's tendency to get dry and itchy, especially in the cold and dry winter months.
The Blessing of Lotion
I now have a deeper appreciation for lotion than ever before. For most of my life, I didn't use lotion because I didn't like the way it felt on my skin. Now that I am approaching sixty, skin moisturizing lotion has become my friend.
Our skin is not the only thing that can become dry. We all go through periods of "dryness" in our spiritual lives as well, those times in the dry desert when we feel empty, alone, and far from God. It is as if the oil of the Spirit has run dry, at least as far as our spiritual lives are concerned. During these times…
We feel as if our prayers are empty and bounce off the rafters.
We have no appetite for the Word of God, and don’t seem to understand it if — by force of will — we take time to read it.
We have no desire to worship, engage in Christian fellowship, or serve others in ministry.
These “dry winters” are when it can feel like we are dwelling in Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones.
How great it would be if there was a
"spiritual lotion" to restore and refresh our spirits?
There is Such a Lotion
The remedies are spiritual disciplines. They are the lotion to cure the dryness of our spiritual lives. It may sound counter-intuitive and even strange, but the reality is…
When you don’t feel like praying or believe your prayers are ineffective, the best thing you can do is pray.
When you have no desire to read the Word of God, but wish you did, the thing to do is read the Word of God.
When worship seems like an empty formality, that is the very time to engage in corporate and private worship.
When you have no desire to be in Christian community for fellowship or service, make sure you fellowship and serve with the community of faith.
Spiritual disciplines are perfectly named. To call them disciplines means we practice them even when it takes great discipline to do so, and they are spiritual in nature. If we have the discipline to practice them, spiritual disciplines can impact our spirits and act as the lotion to our dry spiritual lives.