1) stagnation: a sluggish state in which no development or improvement occurs
2) gloominess: a state of gloominess or lack of energy
We have all experienced, and will all experience again, the doldrums. They happen in life. We hit a dry spell, a barrier at work or in our family. More importantly, they happen spiritually. We feel like we stagnate, like our ‘fire’ is gone, like we’ve just lost the desire to study scripture or talk to God.
Our spiritual adversary wants to use these times in our lives to discourage us, to convince us that we aren’t good enough, that we can never change, and that we’re not loved by God. John 8:44 says that when he (the Devil) lies, he speaks his native language, because he is a liar, and the father of lies. So what to do?
C.S. Lewis writes in his book The Screwtape Letters about states of ‘spiritual dryness’. In it Screwtape, hell’s undersecretary of temptation, writes to his nephew, Wormwood, that the devils should be wary of humans’ periods of spiritual dryness because it is in those times that our prayers and devotion mean the most to God. To say it differently, when we pray and study scripture, when we seek God in the times in our lives when we’re in the doldrums, those are the times where we experience the greatest growth. Because those are the times when our devotion to God is shown to be true devotion and not simply a response to God’s blessings in our lives.
How do you deal with the doldrums?