For the longest time I had been feeling this way. Whenever I read the Bible, nothing seemed to stand out to me. Whenever I’d spend time in prayer, my mind would wander off and my prayers would turn out dull and lifeless. Everything in my spiritual life was becoming a drag. Somehow, slowly over time, it had lost its joy, and I was starting to wonder to myself “What if I’m becoming disillusioned? What if I end up falling away?” The question was a frightening in one sense, but in another sense, it was as if I didn’t care.
Just the other day I saw Geoff Bullock say in an interview that he no longer calls himself a Christian. I grew up singing his songs in church. If he can fall away, what hope do I have? For a long time I thought to myself ‘Finally, I’ve overcome lust” only to find myself struggling with unwanted thoughts over the weekend. I honestly thought I was past all this. Is this proof that God isn’t at work in me after all? At this I started to feel ashamed.
What could I do though? I didn’t feel like there was anyone I could talk to about feelings of spiritual emptiness, and an exhausting battle with sin and despair. It’s a sad truth, but Christians tend to say the most hurtful and unhelpful things when you need healing and help the most. Either they give you a list of stupid tasks, tell you to just change your perspective, or they hit you over the head with a theology textbook. At worst they rebuke you which is enough to make almost anyone want to leave the church and never come back.
Looking for answers online didn’t seem to yield any results either. There was a ton of articles. It certainly seemed like I wasn’t the only one out here feeling this way. But once again, the articles tended to follow the same pattern. Tasks, perspective, textbook. The problem is, is that when you’re feeling empty, you don’t feel like doing anything. You don’t have the energy. Your energy is gone. And the reason why your perspective is the way it is, is because life is exhausting. The battle seems constant, the progress seems sluggish (or not at all sometimes) and all the while the Devil is giving you a hard time comparing you to others just to show you that you don’t measure up. And when it comes to theology, let’s face it, unless you walked into church yesterday, you’re probably not going to hear anything new.
So what the hell are we supposed to do?!
Accept the fact that you feel empty, that you don’t know why, and that there’s nothing you or anyone else can do about it. Only then, by way of strange paradox, when you accept your emptiness, can you begin to feel full. I did. And then all of a sudden, I realized how nice the birds were singing, and how bright the sun was shining. Then, in this new state of mind I found that I could now bring all my emptiness to the one who is not just full, but overflowing with joy, and love, and peace.
God bless you all.