Have you heard of the Sargasso Sea? In the mid-Atlantic, it an area of becalmed waters about 700 miles across and 2000 miles long! The area is bounded by strong currents and much of it is covered with seaweed. Even the salinity of the water is higher than the ocean that surrounds it. In the days of sailing ships, this area of the ocean was dreaded, a place where a ship could get stalled, in the Doldrums, windless and making little or no progress. What a metaphor for a life becalmed!  Without the energy to engage, without the wind our sails; we just sit, waiting for tomorrow.

Seasons come when we get stuck, stale, and stalled – feeling like the wind of the Spirit has stopped blowing. Alan Jamieson wrote that in such times, “the old ways of prayer, worship, Bible reading become dry and stale. The church worship and preaching that used to encourage us, teach us, and inspire us becomes barren ground. God seems to extinguish one means of feeding our faith in order to make us hungry, even starving, for new ways. … Now that the way is void and empty, God comes to us in new ways, if only we can perceive them. When we are becalmed, we learn to wait.” –Perfect Storm, Abingdon, 2008

There are many reasons we can feel the spiritual doldrums falling over us.

-If we are resistant to the will of our Father, persisting in behaviors that we know grieve the Spirit, we should not be surprised when we cannot perceive His Presence.

-Sometimes when we are weary from a time of high stress or endless demands, our ability to worship takes a hit. The remedy is to rest, not just in diversion or pleasure, but to lean hard on the Promises of God.

-And, there are times when we just do not perceive His moving in life for reasons unknown to us. These are times when we ‘live by faith’ – trusting a silent God!

There is a great danger that tempt those who have known God’s powerful Presence in the past.  We may try to stir up something of God in our own strength.  Our motive may be to do “God work.” But, human effort or emotion cannot replace the powerful Presence of God. In attempting to do ourselves what only God can do, we risk even greater discouragement, perhaps even burnout. When we feel becalmed, stuck, like nothing is happening, the best counsel is “WAIT on the Lord.” This is not a passive resignation to fate. It is a choice to turn our focus on Him, to discipline our heart to be still, to actively listen for the ‘still, small voice.’

The Psalmist’s prayer is one for those who are becalmed. “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel (people of God), put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” (Psalm 130:5-7, NIV)

Jesus taught us the importance of waiting for the Spirit. He told those first disciples that they must not rush off to just do something. Instead, they were to wait.  He said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” (Acts 1:4, NIV)

Wait; don’t fret, fuss, or fume! And wait they did; prayerfully, expectantly, patiently. In God’s time, the Spirit moved on them. “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:2, NIV) “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:4, NIV) Those men and women set sail to change the world!

Feeling stuck? God is moving. Love Him. Wait on Him. Turn your heart towards Heaven.


Sweet Wind

(a song of the Spirit, listen at this link)

There’s a wind a-blowin’
All across the land
A fragrant breeze of heaven
Blowin’ once again
Don’t know where it comes from
Don’t know where it goes
But let it blow over me
Oh sweet wind
Come and blow over me

There’s a rain a-pourin’
Showers from above
Mercy drops are comin’
Mercy drops of love
Turn your face to heaven
Let the water pour
Well let it pour over me
Oh sweet rain
Come and pour over me

There’s a fire burnin’
Fallin’ from the sky
Awesome tongues of fire
Consuming you and I
Can you feel it burnin’
Burn the sacrifice
Well let it burn over me
Oh sweet fire
Come and burn over me

David Ruis © 1994 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Vineyard Music USA)Vineyard Songs Canada (Admin. by Vineyard Music USA)

CCLI License # 810055

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