What do you do when you’re in a rut? You’re numb, spiritually and emotionally. You try to “unstick” yourself with cheap forms of happiness: lust, materialism, popularity, relationships, searching for anything that will make you feel something. You wait for a moment in the day where the weight of world is taken off your shoulders and you can rest, only to find yourself stumble with even more weight. So you bear it. And yet at the end of this pursuit, you come up empty handed, broken and even lonelier than before. You know you’re drowning and rescue looks dim. You don’t feel God’s presence, it’s as if He has abandoned you; your cries are unheard. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.” -Psalm 22
You can’t pray—you’ve forgotten how—and even if you did, it feels like you’re getting the answering machine every time. You don’t want to listen to Hillsong. You don’t want to be in community. These happy, feel-good Sundays do nothing for you but rub in your face what you don’t have, and leave you feeling angry and bitter.
You don’t want to read the Word anymore, you’ve lost that energy, that desire and urgency to learn more about Him. Nothing seems applicable to your life, and you sure as heck don’t want to read Numbers. You’re alone and incomplete. While your mom tells you that tomorrow will be a new day, you know you will wake up and nothing will have changed.
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” -Psalm 13
So what do you do when you’re in a rut? I’m not sure I can be of much help as this is where I find myself right now. I’m in this valley, the trough of the spiritual rollercoaster. But what I do know is that I’ve been here before, along with some of the great ancestors of our faith, and I know that this too, shall pass.
Lamenting is not a failure of faith, but an act of faith. We cry out directly to God because deep down, we long for a relationship with Him. God does not say “Do not fear, I will take away all your pain and struggle,” but instead, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”