Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Many of us are afflicted with cabin fever about this time of year and, due to short days, yearn for more sun and warmth—to say nothing about dressing lighter and getting from Point A to Point B faster and easier. I pray you aren’t in the winter doldrums, but especially that you aren’t in the spiritual doldrums. We surely need to avoid that in spite of the weather or season.


The Doldrums

I once sailed with some friends on a day of dead calm. Neither water nor air seemed to move and, as we sat quietly without wind in our sails, we felt listless, almost as empty as the air itself. Finally tiring of the heat and stillness, we started our motor and went on our way.

Before the days of motors, sailors used to face dead calms in the waters near the equator. Those frustrating regions are called The Doldrums, a word that we use today when referring to listlessness or emptiness.

Any kind of emptiness, or vacuum, longs to be filled with something. In our emotional doldrums we try to fill our souls with either bad things (drugs, revelry, crime) or good things (devotion to a dog, sports, hobbies). Most of us become devoted to something or someone. Even the most accomplished pianist or heart surgeon is devoted to his or her profession. Devotion runs deep in the human heart. Most of us feel that we need people or things or accomplishments to satisfy the deep longings of our heart. But those things are temporary and will not cure our emotional or spiritual doldrums.

God our Creator designed us to be filled with and devoted to Himself. He desires to fill every empty place in our heart with his life-satisfying Spirit. When we choose to fill our feelings of emptiness with the things of God, and become committed to him, we find the deep satisfaction that we long for. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him…" (Romans 15:13) "And this is my prayer, that…you may be…filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:9, 11)

Lord, forgive us for the times we've tried to fill our longings with the things of the world. We want to live outside of the deadly doldrums of emptiness. With Your help, we commit ourselves to become devoted to You—through Your Word, fellowship and communion with other believers, and prayer. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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