Creek Bottom Faith #1

  • Deathdrylake3
  • What do you do when you feel dry?
  • Do you ever just get tired of always having to be "on"?
  • What if we just told the truth?   Wouldn’t that be a breath of fresh air to the men and women in our churches (for ministers/ preachers/pastors/church leaders in particular)?

Behind our house is a small creek.  When we first looked at this house six years ago, the creek was one of my favorite places.  It runs along the property line–about fifty yards.   Most of the time during the year, this creek has running water.  There are two places where the creek drops a bit, so the flowing water has a rushing sound.

There is one spot that is deep–that is, it is deep when we’ve had rain. Occasionally there will be a few small brim in the water. The girls and I used to catch the fish, bring them up and throw them back.  Usually there are frogs, a few turtles, and probably a few creatures I don’t want to know about.

  • I’ve sat by that creek and said nothing. 
  • I’ve sat by that creek and prayed. 
  • I’ve sat by that creek and wondered.

And now?

Well, we haven’t had rain in some time.  The creek is dry.  Very dry.  No running water in the creek.  No rushing sound.  Meanwhile, the ground begins to crack.

At times, this picture has been my life.  Dry.  Parched.  Lifeless.  Cracks in my life.  Longing for a better day.  Many Christians experience this.  Many ministers experience this and often feel like they have nowhere to turn (within their churches).  What do you do?   

Sometimes when I feel this way, I long to be alone and to get away.  It is not so much that I want a vacation or a break (though at times that can be so helpful).  Rather, I find myself feeling like that dry creek bed.  What is it that contributes to my own dryness?

  • Spending too much time on tasks that in the end seem pointless.   (While we forget our mission.)
  • Standing on the side of the road watching the house engulfed in flames while we talk about what color to paint the exterior.  (What we do far too often in churches.)
  • Preparing too many messages and various presentations without nurturing my heart and mind.  (Like dipping a gallon bucket into a dry creek bed.  If it’s dry–you are not going to get any water.)

More later.  I think this is important.  I write this not as one who has all of this figured out.  Nope!  I write this because I don’t want the creek to dry up.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “Creek Bottom Faith #1

  1. Jim,

    Wow, this came along at a good time. The flaming church line happens so much here. I want to look around and just scream “Can’t we change something? Do you all want the church to simply die?” (That is, the local church, not The Church.)

    While I was reading your post, “The Heart of Worship” (Matt Redman) was going through my mind. When I am feeling “dry” this is a song that I go to a lot. It doesn’t cure the reasons for the dryness, but it does remind me of what we are here for.

    Shalom,

    – Dave

  2. I am not sure that a period of dryness is all that bad. I am reminded of the dark night of the soul. That it often in those periods of dryness of struggle that we truly grow. I don’t stay dry, but for a short season it may be what I need.

  3. Nothing cures my dryness like praise and worship! And sharing that state of mind with a trusted friend who understands preachers do live in a perfect world. Good thoughts, Jim. Hope your heart is flowing even if the creek is dry!

  4. I believe God sometimes dries my creek because He is taking me through a process of detachment – ripping an idol from my heart that I plant in my sinful and self centeredness – so He can regain His rightful place. After the dryness it seems He has given me His fresh new living water.

    I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for what you share here.

    Winky

  5. What seems to lead to a sense of aridity in my own life is focusing on the present and temporal rather than the eternal. I begin to focus on my own failures and losses instead of looking to Him to define my life. Kind of like the Samaritan woman, I guess. Yet, all the time, He’s right here promising to give “living water” to alleviate that parched emptiness in my soul. Reading that story, it seems like it should be a simple matter. You ask and it’s given – the water, that is – “a apring of water, welling up to eternal life”. The reality, at least in my life, is that I continue to run dry and must keep returning and asking again. Maybe that says more about my maturity level than anything else?

  6. Kent,
    You are so right. I too have been blessed by what God is doing in the middle of a period of dryness. I do want to address this dryness in my life as I see it occur.

  7. Connie,
    A very good comment. What you are saying is true for many of us. I do think focusing on the temporal and immediate contributes to dryness. I had not really thought about this contributing to dryness. Thanks.

  8. It was fun to read these ruminations on the creek… I’ve written a bit on my blog based on my creek experiences too. (I wonder, is this a geographical phenomena? I’m in the Northeast, where creeks abound.)

    The thing about a creek is… it never stays dry… spring comes… the water bounds, rushes, roars. And life returns, as if it never left… the tadpoles and crayfish, the reeds and mosses… even children, who come to trace their sticks in the mud.

    And, in this knowledge, there is comfort for the dry-of-soul.