Dryness in prayer, deep quiet times without consolation and sometimes a feeling of holy isolation are often a part of our walk with Christ. Striving for that union He desires with us can leave us vacant in our soul as God perfects our soul toward His will of eternal bliss.
A voice proclaims:
In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! (Isaiah 40:3)
The man, once again, has had a restless night of sleep. A full plate with family, work and hoisting his own personal cross sometimes wears on his soul. As the alarm on his phone shakes him from his slumber, hearing the restful slow breathing of his wife, he prays in his heart, “Lord, make me a man of your will.”
From his the bedroom the sweet aroma of the medium roast coffee from the automated coffee maker reaches his senses. Rolling on his side and throwing both feet on the ground, he is reminded of the slight pain in his left foot that is now part of his daily offering. Time and distraction will shake off the discomfort throughout the day and at some point he will be able to ignore the twinge with each step. He laughs to himself, “The joy of growing older.”
Sitting in his well worn recliner and morning prayer spot, the man takes his first sip of coffee evoking a response all of his children could repeat without thought, “Ahh, good coffee.” The coffee rousing his senses further, he knows it is time to get focused and talk to his Savior.
“Thank you, Lord for another day. I offer this day for you.” Slowly and methodically, as he reads the morning prayers from the breviary, a certain loneliness descends on his heart. This is not a human loneliness, he knows he is blessed with a beautiful wife and loving children. This loneliness persists without relief, deep in his soul. This solitary spiritual existence is a longing for God.
Looking out of the window, he can see, peaking through the live oaks, the first light of day has begun to shine through from the east. The sun is obscured from sight by springtime thunder clouds. God’s subtle message, without consolation, “I am here, but like the sun behind the clouds, I am hidden for now. Patience, your time is coming.”
The man responds, in his own way, “Ok, but I am not happy about this desert you have left me in.” He can almost hear Him lovingly chuckle in response, “I know, it is for your own good. You know I love you. Now, go do My work.”
The joyful song of the mockingbird signals the beginning of their seasonal ritual building nests and preparing for the arrival of their young. Another day in the Deep South, early spring the temperatures are already rising into the low 80’s.
Watching this from the large picture window, the man is reminded that God always renews our soul and prepares us for struggles and joys. He must be thankful even for this spiritual isolation.
Hymn of a Grateful Heart
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
in the presence of the angels to you I sing.
I bow low toward your holy temple;
I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness.
For you have exalted over all
your name and your promise.
On the day I cried out, you answered;
you strengthened my spirit.
All the kings of earth will praise you, LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the LORD:
“How great is the glory of the LORD!”
The LORD is on high, but cares for the lowly
and knows the proud from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of dangers,
you guard my life when my enemies rage.
You stretch out your hand;
your right hand saves me.
The LORD is with me to the end.
LORD, your mercy endures forever.
Never forsake the work of your hands!
God is good.