You don't perceive God's presence or spirit when you're spiritually empty. Here are three suggestions for dealing with spiritual emptiness. My encounter provided me with fresh, new insights for recognizing God's presence and hearing the Spirit's voice in a more profound way.
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The bad news first. Only by totally entering into a spiritually dark season of life can one overcome it. Below, I'll explain how and why. But wait, there's more! Overcoming spiritual emptiness is worth every ounce of anguish because it is so significant, powerful, important, and meaningful.
What is the reason for spiritual darkness?
God can't be stopped by darkness. The response of God to darkness is described in Psalm 139:12: “Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both similar to You.”
We close our eyes to focus and eliminate distractions when we enter darkness to pray. This could be one of the reasons for spiritual gloom. It's a process of turning away from the light's images and diversions and focusing the mind and heart on God. In the dark, this is where we start to grow.
How can we overcome darkness?
Avoid concepts like “monster spray,” which merely reinforce the idea that monsters exist and must be “sprayed away” in a child's imagination. – Berkley James, a sleep consultant for children
Fear of the dark is a natural part of growing up and one of the most prevalent childhood issues that affects families with school-aged children. Nearly 30% of children have sleep disorders, according to Dr. Jane Sosland, a clinical child and adolescent psychologist, and bedtime disputes can extend well beyond midnight. Children can have behavior and emotional concerns, as well as difficulty concentrating at school, if they don't get enough sleep. So, what is the greatest way for parents to help a scared child?
Talk about your fears. Listen closely to your child to see if you can identify a trigger without playing into their anxieties. A scary story before bed or a stressful experience during the school day could be the source of nighttime terror. Other times, the fear will be completely irrational.
“Just hearing what kids have to say makes them feel heard and acknowledged, which can help them overcome unreasonable anxieties,” says Berkley James, a pediatric sleep specialist.
Be on the lookout for disturbing pictures. When youngsters are winding down after a long day and the darkness of night falls, they may begin to replay frightening images from books, movies, video games, or the news in their brains. When you combine such images with the house creaking at night or an odd shadow on the wall, you've got a wide-eyed kid at midnight.
When your child is around, limit his or her exposure to violent images and turn off the television. Exposure to frequent pictures of terrorism in the media might significantly effect a child's emotional health, according to a 2016 study published in Frontiers in Pediatrics. The researchers write, “These almost live experiences can produce feelings of despondency and helplessness.” They can also make children feel threatened.
However, frightening sights aren't the only source of dread. “Children have a lot of imagination. They conjure up all sorts of things that aren't there in the dark “Sosland explains. Young youngsters frequently can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality. If they imagine a monster in the closet, it must exist in their minds.
Turn on the lights. Relax if your child can only fall asleep with the ceiling light on. Dim the brightness gradually. Gradually progress to a lamp's soft, pleasant glow, then a closet light, and lastly a yellow or orange-colored night light.
“A relaxing tint can be found in salt lamps,” James notes. “Avoid bright or blue lights, which cause cortisol, a wake-up hormone, to be produced in the brain.”
Teach people how to breathe properly. Teach your child coping skills throughout the day that you can use at night if he already suffers from anxiety. To settle down, for example, have a smaller child blow bubbles. Teach older youngsters how to breathe deeply from their stomachs. Inhale for five seconds and exhale slowly, as if you were holding a birthday candle in front of you. “You don't want to blow it out, though. All you want is for the ‘flame' to flicker “Sosland gives his opinion.
Provide a transitional item. To assist your child sleep, give him a plush animal or a favorite blanket. If you've become your child's favorite teddy bear, start weaning him off of you by getting up just as he's about to fall asleep. If he starts to object, tell him you'll be back in five minutes to check on him.
Have him transition to a location adjacent to your bed if he's used to snuggling up with you in your bed and you want autonomous sleeping arrangements. Return his bed to his own room as soon as possible. Set up a token reward system with items like marbles or gold stars that may be cashed in for prizes if getting your child to sleep in his own bed becomes a struggle.
“You can't make kids sleep,” Sosland explains, “but you can reward them for staying in their room.”
Create a sleep-friendly environment. White noise, fans, sound machines, and mild background music can help to drown out the night's oppressive silence. Make sure your child's bed is comfy, the room is cool, and all distracting technological gadgets are put away.
Maintain a consistent nighttime routine. Take some time to reflect on the good things that happened during the day. Avoid using devices and listen to soothing music. Before going to bed, read a relaxing, uplifting book together. Also, as they're drifting off to sleep, encourage them to think on good pictures, such as playing with a favorite pet.
How do I overcome spiritual emptiness?
And he told them a tale about how they should always pray and never give up. (18:1) (Luke 18:1)
We can see from the foregoing verse that persistent prayer is both possible and expected.
Fasting: Fasting can be used to support your tarrying in his presence. Fasting humbles us and sharpens our spirit man, which is why we should fast.
I covered the advantages of fasting in part 2 of my piece on prayer keys, so I won't go over it again here.
Analyse How You Got to Current State of Spiritual Emptiness
Perform a root cause study and assess how you arrived at your current spiritual emptiness.
What were some of the things you did or didn't do? You will be able to avoid those things in the future if you take an honest look inward.
For instance, few years ago, I was engrossed in a daily television series. Before I knew it, I was so engrossed in watching the series that I had forgotten about my time with God.
How do I restore my spiritual life?
What does it mean to resurrect? Simply expressed, it means “to restore the functionality or validity of anything.” So, what about your spirit has become inactive or has lost its validity? Here's a simple test to see if you're ready: Do you find yourself ruminating on minor irritations in your daily life? Do you have a hard time recalling the last time you felt truly happy?
It's possible that your inner spirit requires a “waking,” and spring is an excellent time to assess your situation and take steps toward a more positive, anxiety-free outlook!
Here are three suggestions to help you rekindle your spirit, as well as “5 Inspiring Quotes” from our Cancer Fighters members to get you started.
1. Work on your core
Our entire being is conditioned to perform better emotionally, mentally, and physically when we focus on growing our spirit, the core of who we are. Some exercises to build your spiritual core may include the following, depending on your personal interests:
Any action that brings you closer to rather than further away from your thoughts and feelings might help you live more cheerfully in the present moment. These activities are referred to as “mindfulness” by some specialists. Mindfulness has been shown to increase overall mood, boost emotional, physical, and social well-being, and reduce anxiety, despair, and rage, according to several studies published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Percy McCray, Jr., Director of Faith-Based Programs at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), warns what can happen if we don't take the time to build our spiritual health in his blog, Revive Yourself, Your Spirit, and Your Health.
“It's critical to take a breath and reflect. If we don't, we'll waste our time shopping, eating, drinking, and socializing in vain attempts to resurrect our spirits.” “Instead of re-energizing us, these pleasures might leave us feeling languid and aimless,” explains Rev. Percy. Every human, however, has a thirst, hunger, and yearning for true meaning, value, and purpose in life.
2. Re-establish (or re-establish) healthy relationships
Living with cancer provides many people a new perspective, one that prioritizes relationships over all else. Given the stress of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, it's not unexpected that problems in relationships, particularly between couples, occur frequently. “Fight the cancer, not each other,” says Michael Uhl, MA, MDiv, LMFT, a Mind-Body Therapist at CTCA in Zion, Illinois. He suggests the following ideas for constructing a house:
- Maintain open channels of communication and draw on previous expertise. Whenever a crisis occurs, make an effort to improve communication. Mutual understanding, not necessarily agreement, should be the goal. It may be painful to discuss feelings, yet it is unshared feelings that cause relationships to suffer.
- Make sure you have a strong support system in place. Bringing friends and other family members on board might provide a much-needed reprieve from caregiving obligations, even if your partner is ready to do it all. Both patients and caregivers require “down time” to manage the plethora of experiences and emotions that accompany cancer treatment, recovery, and survivorship.
- Speak with a therapist who has experience with cancer. Speaking with an unbiased therapist who has worked with other cancer patients can assist couples in expressing their emotions and confirming that the sentiments they are experiencing are normal. Discussing all of the emotionsfear, anger, and griefeither together or separately brings them to the surface and aids in the development of useful coping mechanisms.
Relationships with people you care about a spouse, family, or close friends and doing things you both enjoy are stimulating. They have a regenerating and restoring effect.
3. Control Your Thoughts
What do you think about when you're not working? It's only normal for people to inquire “When confronted with a catastrophic sickness, one would wonder, “Why me?” Focusing on this question, on the other hand, can leave you feeling stuck and frustrated. Focusing your thoughts on things that give you hope, on the other hand, might make you feel empowered and revitalize your spirit.
We invited members of our Cancer Fighters group, many of whom are cancer survivors, to provide encouraging remarks “It lifts their spirits.” The following are five of them “To motivate you, here are some “Inspiring Quotes”:
“According to Ardua.”
This Latin phrase translates to “The McIntyre family motto is “despite trials.” Richard A. McIntyre, Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, shared this.
“God is in control of the cancer; the cancer is not in control of me!” Viola Jones of Olathe, Kansas, shared this.
David Brown and Kathy Mosley, a patient and caregiver from Fairbanks, Alaska, believe one of Baha'u'llah's Baha'i prayers in the Baha'i Prayer book brings them much comfort and peace:
“O my God, memory of Thee is my remedy, and Thy name is my mending.
My aim is to be near Thee, and my companion is love for Thee.
Thy mercy to me is my salvation and healing in both this world and the next.
“Truly, you are the All-Abundant, the All-Knowing, and the All-Wise.”
Kimalea Conrad, a cancer survivor from Telluride, Colorado, says Bible verses inspire her; one of her favorites is the one below. “To me, this verse signifies that cancer has no ability to make me terrified unless I allow it,” Conrad explains.
“God did not give us a fearful spirit, but a spirit of strength, love, and self-control.” Revelation 2:7
Surviving cancer typically demands a heroic amount of physical, mental, and spiritual courage, as any survivor or caregiver knows. “Rev. Percy believes that connecting to a greater source of power can bring that balance, stability, and grounding. “Many of us overlook the most obvious sources of meaning, worth, and purpose: service, forgiveness, hope, peace, and faith. Connecting to these global forces of empowerment is, in many ways, the simplest method to rekindle our spirit.”
How did God separate light from darkness?
The Separation of Light and Darkness is based on verses 35 of the Book of Genesis' first chapter: “Let there be light,” God said, and there was light. God regarded the light as good and decided to separate it from the darkness.
Why is darkness a symbol of evil?
Darkness is associated with evil, mystery, and fear. The darkness seems a monster ready to engulf you. It's due to a lack of light. Only a decreased amount of light is conceivable, according to science. The emotional response to a lack of light has inspired literary metaphor, artistic symbolism, and emphasis. Everyone believes they are familiar with the narrative of the Light vs. the Darkness. The Light is beneficial, whereas the Dark is detrimental. However, this is an oversimplification, because not all followers of the Light are “good,” and many excellent individuals do follow the Darkyou may even know a few.
The Light and the Dark are really simple behind all of the problems. It basically boils down to one's personal viewpoint. A person with a “black” mind perceives the world as a dreadful place, sees nothing positive everywhere he or she looks, and believes there is no chance for anything better. These individuals are not necessarily followers of the Dark, but they are the foundation of that belief system. A person of the Light, on the other hand, has an optimistic attitude on life, seeks to find the good in everything, and frequently tries to point out that the world is not as horrible as people believe. Neither of these methods of thinking is necessarily correct or incorrect, and both can make compelling arguments for their own points of view, which is where the difficulty lies in the end.
All of the wars and conflicts that have occurred over the years for reasons other than land disputes have been in the form of Light vs. Dark (in the universe of Firefly Cross, not necessarily always true in our own history). People with strong feelings on either side would cause problems. Once the difficulties started, additional people who would typically be more in the middle chose one side or the other depending on their current opinions, and battles erupted. This is when the whole issue started. The terms “light” and “dark” began to be used to distinguish between the two sides, as “good” and “evil” were no longer applicable because neither side was good or wicked. For it is true that too much light can cause just as much or more harm as too much darkness, and where one exists, the other must inevitably exist. They are diametrically opposed, but neither can exist without the other; they must be balanced.
As an example of how these two sides linked to the various conflicts that arose, consider the following:
Dark: Those who follow the Dark will have a negative outlook. They find flaws in everything, and humans are one of the most common causes of those flaws. They like non-human creatures that are easy to control; giving anyone too much freedom, in their opinion, is a prescription for disaster. The Dark's point of view has the disadvantage because nothing good can ever come from it; there are always more problems to address, and the world is never good enough for them. A Dark leader may want to conquer the globe in order to impose his way of doing things on the people, in other words, conquer in the name of a concept. (As Hitler and the Nazis attemptedmany people regarded them as heroesand as the Christians did during the Crusades.)
These disputes became more structured and uncomplicated after Fate took control of them. There were fewer people “in the center” now that Fate had given each side power. Everyone selected one side or the other to support when it came to power. In the battles, there were fewer “innocents.” As each side's power grew, so did the appearance of magical creatures that were produced by and would complement each side's power. Unicorns, nymphs, and dryads were among the creatures that were created for the Light. Vampires and werewolves were examples of darklings. After a while, it became possible to estimate the strength of the Light and Dark based on the number of these creatures.
After Fate seized control, the Light began to win practically all of their battles against the Dark. This was primarily due to the Dark's pessimistic view, which caused them to repeatedly underestimate the Light, whilst the Light's upbeat outlook gave them confidence in every combat. The notions of Dark and Light as evil and good began to arise around this time. People used to believe that the “good” would always win. Even yet, this enraged the Dark's agents, prompting them to conduct acts that resulted in the battle's control being taken away from Fate's ultimate control. (For a more detailed explanation, read the history page.) This is where the information from the two pages starts to overlap.)
Everything began to alter once Fate began to lose control. All of the centuries of control that had been in place following the first instability had crumbled, and the wars had become more chaotic than they had ever been. Because Fate's power over the Dark remained, she was able to keep them together quite effectively, but the Light began to slip apart, and when a foolish keeper was chosen, the Light was eventually vanquished…and it would remain defeated from that day on.
The Dark has governed for over a thousand years in the present period of Firefly Cross, and their power has only risen in that time. People in this world are pessimistic and unable to see the positive in anything. The Light has almost completely vanished. All of the Light's creatures, such as unicorns, have long since died out, leaving only Chaerius (the dragon), Ra'yl (the guardian), and the sword Ra'grathon to wield the Light's power. Fate has entrusted these few and their new caretaker with a crucial mission. They are not supposed to be triumphant because the Light lacks the necessary power, but they are supposed to endeavor to bring the battle back under Fate's control. They're supposed to put an end to the Dark and diminish their power to that of the Light so that everything can start over again.
Why am I afraid of the dark?
Nyctophobia is a strong dread of the night or darkness that can lead to severe anxiety and depression symptoms. When a fear becomes overwhelming, unreasonable, or interferes with your daily life, it becomes a phobia.
Fear of the dark is common in children and is considered a normal aspect of development. Humans are commonly afraid of the dark because it lacks any visual stimulation, according to studies on this phobia. In other words, people may be afraid of the dark and the night since they can't see what's going on around them.
While some dread is natural, when it begins to interfere with everyday activities and sleep habits, it's time to see your doctor.
How do adults overcome fear of the dark?
Nyctophobia is a phobia that affects a lot of people.
- Desensitization is a procedure that involves gradually exposing yourself to the dark in little, non-threatening amounts (this should only be done under professional supervision)
Can darkness ever overcome light?
I never gave the dark much thought as a kid. That isn't entirely correct. I pondered how terrifying it was, how much of it there was, and whether the blackness concealed the creatures within, or whether the darkness was a monster in and of itself. But I never gave any thought to what darkness was, how it acted, or what happened to it when my parents returned to turn on the lights.
Darkness holds a fascination for me, partly because it generates areas of mystery. In complete darkness, I have no idea what is going on around me; my surroundings, company, and even myself become unfamiliar to me for a brief while. That is, in part, why we find it so frightening.
But, for all the fear of monsters or creatures that can sneak up on us, darkness isn't that potent, in my opinion. A light can never be extinguished, no matter how deep the darkness. When my light came back on, there was never any fight where the darkness fought to preserve its grip on me. Even a solitary flickering flame is unaffected by the darkness that surrounds it.
In truth, darkness' only power comes from the space created by the absence of light. The darkness fades as the light shines. We have the ability to view things as they are.
Everything seems to be working against us at this time of year: the days are too short for our to-do lists, and it feels like it's been pouring for months. We witness the effects of climate change, the election craziness, and the sense of division that contemporary politics has produced in our society when we look around. This year's winter appears to be the darkest yet.
Christmas has become such a focal point in the heart of winter, and I believe it is no coincidence.
As Christians, Christmas represents the birth of our hope: the light shining in the darkness. It's a lesson we all need to hear from time to time.
The darkness can be overwhelming, exacerbating our pains and worries to the point that we can't distinguish if we're fleeing monsters or afraid of shadows. This is a difficult time of year. When you're separated from the excitement and celebration of Christmas, it's difficult to enjoy it.
But, because Christmas isn't all about being cheery or acting as if we're not upset or terrified, I think it's fine. Christmas is about hope, about realizing that because the light has come, even the deepest darkness is no longer impenetrable. The first sounds of the trumpets of salvation are light; the light will triumph, and the darkness will be extinguished. Even if we don't feel it, we can declare that hope has come to us.
Christ comes to meet us not as a king in a palace, but as a baby in a manger; he comes not as a king in a palace, but as one of us. Human, poor, and frail. Human life is now intertwined with God's.
And for us, as we prepare to meet Christ for the first time this Christmas, he comes to us in the dead of winter, a beacon of light in the midst of the darkness. A ray of hope for our redemption. A ray of hope in the midst of the darkness.
Hope is unique in that it looks beyond the ‘here and now.' Hope does not claim that everything is alright today and that we should be unconcerned. Hope points us to a better future than the one we are currently living in. Something is on its way to alleviate our current suffering. Hope, on the other hand, fundamentally transforms our relationship with the challenges we are currently confronting. A person who has hope can withstand nearly infinitely more than someone who does not. When we find that we have hope, something within us changes.
Christmas' promise is similar: a reminder that the birth of this small child changed the world forever, a promise that the future would be better than this. The fact that the same Jesus Christ will return.
All things will be made new, and salvation has begun, but it is not yet complete. The promise of Christmas is still alive and well in each of our hearts. The light that shines in the darkness has arrived, and the darkness is dissipating, but the task is not yet done. It's started, but it's not done yet. In the midst of things, moving forward. Every year, we celebrate Christmas not just to remember what happened, but also to re-establish it in our hearts and minds as something that is still happening.
Christ is the genuine light that has come to enlighten all people, the light that shines in the darkness. We may approach it, embrace it, ignite ourselves on fire with it, and bring hope to others who are looking for it. That is what Christmas invites us to do: to embody the hope we have in Christ so that others may experience it as well.
And it is this light that we should remember as we light candles, turn on fairy lights, and burn our advent candles one last time this Christmas. The light that came as a small infant in the middle of winter, the light that brought us hope. As we recall where we are going and who is returning to meet us, and that all these things that hurt and haunt us are being made new, the darkness around us loosens its grasp just a little.
Can God fill my emptiness?
Symptoms of empty spirits include empty bellies, empty lifestyles, empty dreams, and empty motivation. While emptiness is unpleasant, it may also be a benefit if it is dealt with wisely. Even though everything around us stays in empty, emptiness is a wake-up call to go to God, who is the only One who can change emptiness into fullness and fill us with His fullness and blessing.