Christian women experience spiritual dryness more often than we like to admit. Our new devotional, Refreshed: A Devotional for Women in Dry Seasons, invites you to humbly accept the living water of God's Word when your soul feels spiritually dry. Through Scripture, 31 devotionals, application questions, and spiritual disciplines, Refreshed will help you establish the habit of watering your soul with the truth of God's Word. Find Refreshed in the Well-Watered Co. today, and keep reading for a sneak peek of one of the devotionals and the answers to your frequently asked questions.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Spiritual dryness happened when I was young, last year, last week, and even a few hours ago. It creeps in during seasons of suffering or celebration, seasons momentous or mundane, seasons of transition or waiting.
I’m ashamed of my dryness. I want to bury it in the sands of normalcy, smoothing it over until there’s no ripple in my perfect spiritual veneer. I cover it up at church Bible study as I hastily flip past the day of study I couldn’t bring myself to finish. I don’t even mention it when a friend asks me how I’m doing. Just as my pastor begins to preach, I let my mind run to my to-do list instead of opening itself to God’s Word. The shame lingers when I tell a friend I’ll pray for her, knowing in the depths of my heart that I’ll never actually pause to do so. I avoid it by mouthing worship songs from memory without ever really worshiping.
I hate when I’m in that place, yet I feel helpless to avoid it and find myself back there again so often that I struggle to believe living water really can quench my thirst (John 4:14). That’s the problem in a nutshell. Spiritual dryness has many causes, but my dryness usually comes from doubting both the truth and value of God’s Word. Why would I read what my soul doubts is true?
So I avoid the relational nature of God’s Word—sleeping too late for personal devotions, doing my work-related Bible reading for comprehension but not transformation, and neglecting prayer completely.
As I bypass my Bible again and again, the soil of my soul cracks with thirst.
Because reading God’s Word isn’t the same as drinking it. Reading can be completely academic or in one ear and out the other. Drinking is meditation. Drinking is delighting. It’s slowly filling the mouth, enjoying a refreshing swish around the tongue, then gulping down with a smack of the lips and a punctuated “Ah!” Regular Bible study can lead to meditation, but it’s not meditation in and of itself.
Read Psalm 1:2–3 again. Skimming God’s Word doesn’t quench our thirst. Academic dissection doesn’t quench our thirst. We can’t experience the delight of God’s law without lingering. Meditation takes us from simply consuming the truth to seeing the God who wrote the truth, made the promise, remained faithful, sacrificed himself, intercedes for us, and transforms us. Meditation is entering into relationship with God, and that relationship makes his Word sweet and refreshing.
Theologian Tim Keller suggests asking these questions of the Scripture you’re meditating on: Am I living in light of this? What difference does this make? Am I taking this seriously? If I believed and held to this, how would that change things? When I forget this, how does that affect me and all my relationships?1 These questions help you meditate on a text that you’ve previously studied. They incline your heart to God’s Word after your head has already engaged with it.
Notice the benefits of meditating on God’s Word noted in Psalm 1. Not only is meditation a means to delight, but it also makes us firmly planted trees, no matter our circumstances. Even if we are in a season of intense heat that could lead to dryness, we remain well-watered when we meditate on God’s Word. So our leaf does not wither, although we only see spiritual fruit in its season.
So I ask myself, Why do I find myself so regularly battling spiritual dryness when I know the cure?
It pains me to admit it, but it’s my pride. It holds tightly to doubts that I know would be dispelled if I immersed myself in God’s truth. My pride tells me sleep is more necessary than private fellowship with God in his Word. It chooses quick delights and easy escapes instead of the patient labor of meditation that leads to lasting joy. My pride values my own ability to discern truth instead of dependency on God’s truth. It avoids the conviction of the Holy Spirit that comes through deep meditation. My pride flat out refuses to drink the water.
Every morning I wake up bursting with my own value and importance. So every morning, I must kill my pride using this prayer, adapted from biblical counselor Paul Tripp: Lord, I need your help today. Humble my heart to receive your Word. Help me look beyond myself and my circumstances to my Savior. Amen.2 Only when I humbly entreat God for help do I begin to value his Word and make time not only for study but for meditation that leads to worship. Then and only then is my soul refreshed.
Water Your Soul
What lies or thought patterns do you discern in your heart when you’re experiencing spiritual dryness? How do you think pride plays a role in your spiritual dryness?
Psalm 1 is considered a meditation on meditation. Take time to read it today, choosing a verse or two to meditate on. Ask yourself the questions Tim Keller recommends that are listed in today’s devotion.
Frequently Asked Questions about Refreshed
What is Refreshed and who is it for?
Refreshed is a 31-day devotional that shares the stories of women who both know spiritual dryness and have discovered what it looks like to experience living water. Refreshed is for any woman who feels spiritually dry, regardless of circumstance, season, or life stage. Through Scripture, 31 devotionals, application questions, and spiritual disciplines, Refreshed will help you establish the habit of watering your soul with the truth of God's Word.
What is the format of Refreshed?
Each devotional includes three sections: Living Water, Drink Deeply, and Water Your Soul. The daily Scripture readings in the Living Water section encourage you to spend time in God’s Word before diving into the day’s reading. The Drink Deeply section contains biblical truths, wisdom, and encouragement in the form of a devotional. The Water Your Soul section helps you take practical next steps through application questions and by practicing related spiritual disciplines. This section includes space to write your responses. The devotional is 31 days long, so you could work through the entire devotional in one month or go at your own pace.
What topics does Refreshed cover?
Refreshed covers the topic of spiritual dryness and combating it through immersing yourself in the living water of God’s Word and practicing spiritual disciplines. Each devotional includes practical wisdom on spiritual disciplines like reading God’s Word, fellowship, confession and repentance, worship in community, prayer, lament, rest, and more. Some of the daily titles include:
- I am refreshed by food and rest
- I am refreshed by fellowship
- I am refreshed by truth
- I am refreshed by the shared sufferings of Christ
- I am refreshed by remembering God’s faithfulness
- I am refreshed by lamenting
- I am refreshed by the power of God’s grace in my weakness
- I am refreshed by eternal hope
- I am refreshed by serving others
Who contributed to Refreshed?
Refreshed is made up of 31 devotions by Maggie Combs, Brittany Allen, Beverly Chao Berrus, Taylor Cage, Ashley Chesnut, Fernie Cosgrove, Lindsay Cournia, Kati Lynn Davis, Lara d’Entremont, Amy Hale, Laura Hardin, Neidy Hess, Aylín Merck, Titania Paige, Gretchen Saffles, Sarah Valentour, Sarah Walton, Lauren Washer, and Lauren Weir.
Can I read through Refreshed with a group?
Reading through Refreshed with a friend or a group in your local community is a great way to have accountability for remaining in God’s Word, pray for one another, and fellowship together. You could talk through the application questions in the Water Your Soul section, discuss what resonated with you in each devotion, and encourage one another through this spiritually dry season as you seek to implement rhythms of spiritual disciplines in your life. We'll also read through Refreshed together as an online community in this NEW Facebook group beginning on April 10. We’d love for you to join us!