There are times in life when the ground beneath your feet doesn’t feel solid, fixed, or secure. It’s a scary feeling. It’s as if the rug’s been pulled out from under you and you’re left to drift through life, desperately seeking a footing.
We’ve all been there. Some of us are there now. We approach God and hear nothing. His overwhelming presence isn’t like it once was and we wonder why, why does He feel so distant?
Well, I’m here to tell you: I don’t know why, exactly. But, after being through times of silence and distance from Him (even if they’re just perceived) I’ve learned a few possibilities.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3 (NASB)
His love is everlasting. It doesn’t change, ever. How He feels about me is the same today as it was yesterday and won’t change tomorrow. Because of the everlastingness of His love, he draws me into Himself with His lovingkindness. He loves me enough to give me the greatest thing in the entire universe – Himself.
As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I’m revering the One that will bring me through. (Psalm 23:2,4)
Jesus calls us to live a simple life, not the life of disorder and chaos.
Last spring I shifted my daily routine from exercising first thing and squeezing in a quiet time to having my quiet time first thing and exercising later. The fruit of just a minor change was amazing – my attitude improved, my outlook on life was better, I had more clarity and discernment, and best of all my relationship with God was richer, deeper, and satisfying. But sometime in the last few months my habits shifted back to my old ways and the fruit I had was shriveling up. When crunched for time I’d spend less time with God instead of exercising and I noticed an increase in anxiety, the feeling of distance from God, and uncertainty in decision-making. Thankfully after a relatively short season of confusion, God made it clear to me why I was feeling the way I was. So, I’ve committed to start my day with Him. If I don’t get to work out that day, then so be it. It’s better to miss that than my time with God. (1 Timothy 4:8)
I want to be a good, devoted example to those around me by the way I speak, how I act, the way I love, my faith, and my integrity. And I’m guessing that you do, too.
When Jesus shows us even a glimpse of Himself, it’s enough to want to shout it from the rooftops and tell the world of His love. But, how do we live it out in the day-to-day; in the moments between the rooftops?
I want everything to be clear and understandable at. all. times. I’m all for God being the one to give me the direction and the focus, (He really is the only one that can.) but why doesn’t He do it more often? It seems like the more I step out the more confusion and chaos I feel. I start to question His voice and wonder if He even told me to step out in the first place. Doubts creep in and worry takes over. I physically have trouble breathing and I feel like I’m drowning in the questions that mostly don’t even need to be asked, let alone have an answer.
Like I talked about in the first post I ever wrote (here), God does call us to step out of the boat, out of our comfort zone. But, did you notice that when Jesus told Peter to step out He was calling him out into the storm?!
So, what do we do when we feel like this? When our focus is blurred and there are a million and a half things being thrown in our direction and pulled from our grips. (Have you ever tried to hold onto something while in a raging storm? It’s pretty impossible, especially if what you’re clinging to is of little weight.)
We’re all waiting for something. Each one of us has a desire in our heart that hasn’t been answered by God. We’re seeking and longing and questioning. Wondering if He’s really heard us or if He even cares. There’s a craving and a searching that can’t be quenched, no matter how hard we strive. We want that thing so badly and yet it seems so far out of reach.
What’s the story you tell yourself about God?
A.W. Tozer says that “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I think the reason he believes this is because how we view God – what we believe about Him – shapes who we are, how we live, and how we see the world – so basically everything about us. And I’d say that’s pretty important.
So, is the story we’re telling ourselves about God right? How can we know? Well, by checking our story against the one Jesus tells in Scripture. If what we believe about God isn’t in line with the God Jesus shares, then we need to erase the story we’re telling and replace it with the one of Jesus; because if what we believe about God is really the most important thing about us we want to get it right.
Most mornings I wake up feeling like I didn’t get enough sleep, I didn’t get enough done yesterday, and I won’t have enough energy to do all I need to get done for today. So before my feet even hit the floor I feel overwhelmed and defeated.
What a way to start out.
But, this isn’t the whole truth I’m telling myself. Though I’m tired, I have left over tasks, and lacking in strength – and left to myself I would be too tired, too overwhelmed, and too weak – God gives me what I need from His abundance. Each morning He provides just what I need for that day. What was given yesterday is gone and what’s for tomorrow hasn’t come. He provides exactly what I need for just this day.