Seasons of Nothing is a 5 Minute Worship Discussion Read, a part of our Worship Through The Seasons Discussion Series.
Seasons of Nothing
One of my favorite movies in the Hallmark-chick-flick genre (don’t judge) is an adaptation of Janette Oke’s popular novel, Love Comes Softly. I may have already lost some of our male readers, but stick with me here! In the movie, young, newly-married Marty confesses to her friend Sarah how she struggles to love her new husband. The marriage, Marty explains, was out of sheer necessity; her first husband died tragically, leaving her and her unborn baby alone in the Wild West. Marty married the second man because he promised to provide for her (and did so faithfully) - but she didn’t love him. In fact, she doesn’t think she could ever love him.
With a smile, Sarah leans over to Marty and responds, “Sometimes, love isn’t fireworks. Sometimes love just comes softly.”
In the context of romantic love, this quote is DYNAMITE. But, as I was thinking and praying about how to approach this discussion topic, God brought this quote to my mind and caused me to realize its relevance to my - our - love for Him.
You see, we expect fireworks from our faith. For example:
Tragedy strikes. We pray for a miracle.
Transitions shake our confidence. We expect God to come through and dazzle us with His provision.
Blessings flow in abundance. We celebrate His goodness.
But what about when...there’s nothing? No cliche mountaintop experiences. No valleys of pain or grief. Just ho-hum, everyday life. Get up, have devotions, go to work, come home, eat dinner, catch the latest episode of your favorite show, go to bed, repeat. You aren’t aware of any especially egregious sins, your job is hunky-dory, and God hasn’t deposited any obvious blessings into your spiritual bank account. No fireworks. Maybe even a little blasé.
Wait, what is this Christian life all about, anyway?
Maybe we need to remember that, sometimes, love just comes softly.
A Continual Dependence Upon God
Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Isaiah 30:15-17, writes, “Would we be strengthened to do what is required of us and to bear what is laid upon us? It must be in quietness and in confidence; we must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God and His power and goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness…” (Matthew Henry).
Just because we’re in the middle of a “season of nothing” doesn’t mean we *do* nothing. Quietness isn’t passive. Depending on God isn’t done by casually reading Oswald Chambers and hoping God shows up with some fireworks sometime soon.
Instead, a season of nothing is simply another opportunity to quietly, persistently, softly seek the Lord. You might not get a lightning-bolt revelation from your devotions or watch a Touched-by-an-Angel miracle unfold; in fact, you probably won’t. But if you’re faithful, committed, steadfastly determined, you’ll get something much better.
You’ll get Him.
Do you want to make your season of nothing meaningful? Do you want to cultivate a quiet love for Him that grows, softly, day by day? Here are three practical ways to fuel an intentional attitude of spiritual growth during this specific time in your life:
1. Memorize Scripture.
“With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:10-11, NKJV).
When we love someone, we’re compelled to learn every nuance about them. Our love grows as our knowledge of them grows. The same is true with our relationship with God. As we meditate on His Word and carry it with us throughout the day, we’ll find our love for the Author growing because we know Him better.
2. Learn more about prayer.
“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalm 116:1-2, NLT).
There’s no mistaking that God’s Word links love for Him with prayer to Him. So, pick up a book on the topic or do your own study of Scripture to see what God has to say about how and what we should pray. Then, put your knowledge to practice!
3. Commit (or re-commit) to simple obedience.
“Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them” (John 14:21, NLT).
Another practice that God links to a love relationship with Him is obedience. If we’re unwilling to obey Him, we cannot claim that we truly love Him. Thus, commit (again) to obey Him. Listen for God’s voice, and do what He says, either through His Word or the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Remember: None of the ways listed above are quick fixes to catapult you to dynamic faith. Quite often, the Spirit-led life is anything but quick fixes. Be persistent. Be committed. In your daily life, boring and predictable as you may perceive it to be, you can still experience the richness of a deep, satisfying relationship with the Lord.
Because, sometimes love isn’t fireworks.
Sometimes...love just comes softly.
Recommended Worship Song: A Breath or Two by Jimmy Needham