God, where are you? This question has often rung through my mind as loud as the gong of a steeple bell. Loneliness and abandonment threaten to close in on me and the lie that God is distant becomes a lot more real than it should.
That’s the thing about faith. It requires you to believe with every fiber of your being in someone you can’t see with your physical eyes yet this very person is closer than any other living thing. But our flesh and our mind cry out for reason and logic. After all, that’s how society today works. Logic and reason are prized over imagination and abstract or even emotional language. Faith is not logical.
So, I’ll find myself in some place or other desperately trying to look all prim and proper when on the inside I’m crying out for God to be more than abstract. I want him to be tangible and real. What I really want is for him to fill that void in my heart so I can escape the pain that comes with my circumstances and dashed ideals.
Maybe that’s what causes you and me to feel God is a million miles away. He didn’t show up the way we expected nor did he do what we hoped he would do. We find ourselves facing something we didn’t see coming and instead of landing with our bums in the butter we feel given the raw end of the stick.
In frustration, we cry “God where are you? Do you even care? Do you notice me?” Oh, how patient is God with us! With the warmth that comes from his presence and the gentle kiss of love while his breath of life teases the tendrils of your heart, he says gently:
“My darling, my beautiful one. I have never left you. I cannot leave you. My breath is the breath of life filling your lungs. My blood courses through your veins and I’ve programmed your DNA to match mine. Oh my darling, I am not far. I have never been nor will I ever be.
You are in me and I am in you. In those moments of despair and heartache, I take you deeper into my heart where you are engulfed with my love. I pour my presence over you so you let off a sweet fragrance into the spiritual realm marking you as mine. I’ve sealed you as my own. I’ve grafted you into me so that I can be the source of your substance and every need.
This is the moment when the lie that God is far or an abandoning father disintegrates into a puff of smoke. He is the perfect father, husband, friend, brother. So, with a heart opening wider still, he comes in with a deeper presence into this frightening place of loneliness. He lifts the veil that has fallen over our eyes and suddenly we see…Him.
We think God runs away from our hardships. Quiet the opposite. We run from our hardships. The pain and disappointment are often overwhelming and our natural tendency is to withdraw. But, God. I love those words. Oh, how our Papa God uses every situation and opportunity in life to draw us much closer. He uses these moments to reveal more of his love to you and me, more of his heart, and more of his abounding grace.
His presence is always accessible. All we need do is choose to enter in. Bring your stuff to him. Bring it all and watch him take it and transform it into something beautiful and redeemed. He is the one who helps you move on and on from glory to glory.
In that moment of feeling “God, you are a million miles away”, God is saying to you and to me “Come away with me my love…I have a glorious and wonderful plan for you.”
Hear is my pastor’s sermon “What do you do when God feels a million miles away?” which inspired this post. I wrote this post for my church’s blogs at the end of June but wanted to share it hear on Living Fiercely Loved so that more people could be encouraged by this amazing message. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
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