The Spiritual Slump (Psalm 139)

Let’s just cut to the chase. For the past several weeks, I have been mired in one of the worst spiritual low-points of my entire life. It plays a huge role in the fact that I haven’t been writing these last few weeks.

Now, I stopped my routine that week that I went to Crossings. I left this blog without much warning, but in a lot of ways, I feel as though I left it a lot sooner than that. As I have been writing on various aspects of the book of Jeremiah, I have felt as though I lost my inspiration and passion for this blog (and anything else that I was trying to write).

Many of the posts that I had written were me piggybacking off of the notes from my study of Jeremiah that I had written a while ago. My writing became a matter of rote, routine. Of course, as I have become more and more experienced as a writer, I have learned that you cannot merely write whenever you feel like it. As with any other form of work, you have to press on through it even when it’s rough and difficult. Eventually though, I got to the point where I was no longer truly believing the things that I was putting into words.

It became a matter of head knowledge, not something that was genuinely true in my heart. This just goes to show the glory of God in that some of you who have kept up with this meagre little thing have potentially been blessed through what you were reading. My words were never meant to be a demonstration of my own prowess (I apologize if it ever appeared that way). It is for this very reason that I kept writing. I pushed myself because I hadn’t been putting words to screen as a means of showing off. I was trying to direct those who read the words (as well as the one who wrote them, me) toward God.

I continued plugging away. Writing, thinking, and reading through this form of depression that had overtaken me. I punched and kicked and tore at the wall even though it never seemed to give any ground. I searched God. I asked things of God. I pursued Him even when nothing seemed to be happening until I slowly started to feel myself gain ground.

Then Crossings camp happened with my church’s student ministry. I went as a leader.

When you’re in a slump as I was in and you start to make strides, going into a camp setting can be very dicey. In a lot of ways, it is necessary to tamper expectations and to do your very best to focus your eyes only on Christ. Everything ended up going very well; God completely showed up in ways that I don’t even understand. I simply trust.

For anyone who has experienced camp before, however, you know how difficult and oftentimes discouraging it can be to come back home, and I walked right back into that wall. It stood exactly where I had left it. A lot of things in my heart may have changed over the course of one week, but many of the realities of my life and the state it was/is in did not.

So, many of the same obstacles, emotions, issues remained, and in a lot of ways, camp played a part in hampering my development in coping with these things (these things mostly centering on anxiety for my future, which I know is sinful). Life is more like a marathon than a sprint. I started to find my stride in handling my sentiments as the days wore on. Camp came, and I ended up sprinting so that when I got home I had to readjust to the concept of long distance. Seeking God became extraordinarily difficult after coming back from a week in which He seemed so immediate and present.

I’ve tried reading different things here or there, but this morning, I landed on Psalm 139. In particular, the last two verses really had something to say in my life. It became my prayer in that moment, and it will continue to be a prayer. I leave you now with these words. I won’t comment on them for now. For now, I’ll just leave them as they are.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:23-24

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