The “dog days” are the hottest days of summer – the days when you’re doing everything you can to prevent being outside for extended periods of time and don’t want to do anything but stick your head in the freezer. They’re long, rough, and seem like they’ll never end.
Those same adjectives can also be used to describe our spiritual seasons. Sometimes we feel as if things couldn’t get any worse, and all we want to do is give up. Our spiritual dryness turns into “dog days.” One person who could relate to spiritual dry spells was David. In Psalm 22, we see how David responded to a time in his life when God felt distant. We also learn how to respond whenever we feel the same.
The first truth we learn from reading Psalm 22 is: Don’t ignore the silence. David started by recognizing the fact that he didn’t feel close to God. Whenever you’re feeling distant from God, communicate that in your prayer. Some of the biggest moves God makes in our lives come after a period of spiritual dryness – when it seems like God is doing nothing. In those moments, be honest with God and yourself.
Immediately after David recognized his spiritual dryness, he cried out in verse 3, “But You are holy.” Whenever you’re feeling like things can’t get any worse, remember the truth of the gospel. Get back to the basics of the faith that saved you. God is in control, even when it doesn’t seem that He’s anywhere to be found.
Finally, when dryness comes, trust more. David could’ve easily abandoned his faith when things weren’t going well, but he ended the psalm by praising God. Times of dryness may be filled with fear, but these times will definitely require more faith. It may be that God is using such a time for something bigger than you could ever imagine. But, ultimately, it requires a deeper level of trust.
Jeremy Chandler is currently surviving the “dog days” in Nashville, Tennessee as a 20-something who is passionate about seeing our generation exceed expectations. A graduate from Austin Peay State University, Jeremy and his wife Mary frequent the Nashville coffee shop scene and jump at any opportunity to connect with others. Follow him on Twitter: @jeremy_chandler.