Cultivating Hope in Dry Seasons
Hope is a funny thing when we find ourselves in the midst of a waiting season. How do we hold onto hope from verses we read in Scripture when we survey our scenario and see that nothing seems to be lining up? How do we believe God at His Word when we've been praying for something for weeks, months, or years? How do you believe God’s promise of a life that is like a well-watered garden (Isaiah 58:11) when your life looks more like a frozen tundra with not a sign of life in sight?
1. Cling tightly to Scripture. The truth we read in God’s Word is not subject to our circumstances. God's promises are true even when we don’t see the evidence yet. Find verses that lift your heart and put them on repeat in your mind! Speak truth over your day instead of listening to your feelings. Don't avoid Scripture because you don't see yourself in the pages. We come to the Word to know more about God, and He is unchanging even in the waiting periods of our lives.
2. Gaze at God more than you glance at your sister. When God tells us to Follow Him and we say, “but what about her?” we can start to doubt that our life will ever look like we want it to. Maybe you feel like God has given you a distinct desire to be a mother, yet the negative pregnancy tests and multiple miscarriages don't seem to line up. Meanwhile your friends and family members are having kid after kid. What do we do then? Or maybe you desperately long to be a wife, to grow in relationship with a God-seeking man, but while you find yourself home alone night after night, your Instagram feed seems to be filled with happy couples and engagement shoots. "Why them?" you wonder.
When we find ourselves looking at our sisters and saying, "But God—they are getting what I wanted!" — that can lead to doubting God’s goodness. In those seasons, keep your eyes on Him, listen as He leads and believe that He has called you to live your life, not your sister’s. God's schedule or order of events may be different for you than you'd hoped, but His timing is always right.
3. PRAY. Don’t just think about your situation. Pray about it. Actually talk to God about it. Ask for Him to help you believe when you feel overcome with doubt. Stay in communication during the day! And then listen to Him. Maybe you feel like you aren't hearing from God. When was the last time you got away and turned off all the distractions? When we give God ten minutes of the day and don't hear His answer immediately, we tend to lose heart. But it could be that He's trying to speak to us in those other 23 hours, and we're just too distracted and busy to even hear His whisper. Slow down and have conversation with Him, day after day.
4. Praise. What are you thankful for? What little signs of grace are around you? Make a list and praise the Lord for those things every day. Cultivate gratitude and remind your heart of His faithfulness. Don’t doubt in the darkness what He has done for you in the light. This keeps our eyes on Him and helps us remember that He is still good, even if we are not seeing His provision in the one specific way we want.
5. Just do the next right thing. Remember that this moment in time is not forever. This season is not eternal. You may not know what this time next year is going to look like. Just do the next thing that He is asking you to do this day and trust Him with the big picture. Take little steps of faithfulness that align with Scripture, the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom of mature believers who are encouraging you.
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it is a starting place to walking in His faithfulness even when we can’t see the end of the road. God is good, all the time, and when we find ourselves in dry seasons, He hasn't changed. By being women who are deeply rooted in His Word and trusting His hand, we will see His faithfulness in time.