Have you ever struggled so much or become so overwhelmed that you begin to wonder if God has abandoned you?
It’s a feeling of aloneness, despair, hopelessness.
I have certainly felt that and it's horrible. It’s the reason that I wrote the post to share with you – in case you are feeling that right now.
Over the last five days, I actually experienced this scenario. I was very busy with work, events with my family, a trip I had to make and, for a variety of reasons, I just felt very, very far away from God. It was horrible. I don't love it when I experienced that this feeling for any reason. I imagine you don't either.
Here are a few ideas that have helped me when I've been in a situation that I hope will help you too.
Number 1: This feeling is a lie. Understand that we have a real enemy and his motivation is to isolate us from God. That's really what he wants. And it's a lie.
God is not distant. He's not indifferent. He's not frustrated with us or abandoning us. David said in the Psalms 139:8
God meets us where we are. He's proven it consistently.
The very first thing we have to do is get clear that this feeling is isn't God, you or even the situation. This is our enemy who is trying to isolate us from God by make us feel like God isn't present for us.
Having this epiphany helps immediately clear the fog and help us see other possibilities.
While this get’s the ball rolling, it can still be difficult to sense God at times.
The Word of God can help.
A friend of mine recently shared this struggle. He was lamenting that we can hug a person but it was hard to hug God. He came across an image online with a woman being hugged by the Bible, similar to this one by Kevin Carden. He realized that God is present hugging him through His word when he reads his Bible.
You can always use one of the many Bible promise books such as this one our Stephen Ministry team uses. It organizes scriptures for various situations and needs such as guidance, assurance, or peace. Here’s a scripture list on Presence of God in my copy:
This is how God’s Word can comfort us. It helps us remember his presence, what he has done for us or shown us in the past, and what He’s promised us.
Another provision is directly connecting to the Spirit of God via Prayer.
My pastor was sharing with us this weekend about how the Israelite’s didn’t speak the name of God out of reverence. We sometimes call him YAHWEH, which we expand from YHWH and the Hebrew language didn’t use vowels. Of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, three were silent. Guess which three.
Speaking Y, H, W was as a whisper and many wondered why God would make it where his people couldn’t say his name. Some ancient Rabbis explained that God was trying to make it simple for us. That from the first breath to the faintest deathbed whisper, we are always breathing the name of God.
I love this. When we are going through any difficult situation and can’t even stop to think, we are still breathing and blood is still flowing through our veins. Both demonstrate God’s presence and faithfulness to us that he sustains our life force even when we are so overwhelmed that we can’t think about that or about him.
Seeing this, we can come consciously back to praying, consciously breathing and meditating consciously remembering His presence and attaching ourselves to him in that moment.
In addition to the Spirit of God and the Word of God, We also have the People of God.
We can and should lean on our brothers and sisters who can physically hug us and walk with us. We need to accept and receive this. If we don't ask, how are they going to do it? And what Satan wants to do is keep us isolated so we don't ask. Go ahead and ask anyway.
I had to go to Dallas to a conference Saturday and was hoping this event would help me as I was still feeling alone and distant. It did but midday, I had a particularly deep moment feeling alone. One of the other people there begin talking with me and without me sharing any of this, some of that conversation unexpectedly comforted me – and I knew God was with me in that moment.
That brings me to another way God has helped me in times like these.
I don't know if you've had this experience. I find sometimes that when I'm feeling this way, especially if it's out of character or unwarranted given my current situation, that God brings someone in my life that is experiencing those feelings at a way deeper level or in a more substantial way than me.
I’ve come to understand God is just giving me a small taste for a purpose -- so I can be sensitive to their needs. The purpose is to help me become aware and compassionate to what God is doing and what they need.
When we surrender to this and serve that brother or sister out of this deeper compassion because God's given us a little taste of it, I immediately begin to sense His presence of course. Often times, they do too because God sent someone to care for them – to step into their world and given them a little taste of God’s presence. Maybe, that’s what was happening for my friend who talked to me at the conference.
Hopefully, you can see a couple of ways that you can better navigate these moments of feeling distant from God. If you can leverage the:
You’ll likely feel His presence again and find your footing in this moment. But also, all of these things are not momentary but eternal so you can trust that God is using it all for your good and His glory.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I pray this will be helpful to you. Please tell me if it has or if I can help you in some other way.
If you're struggling with something, let me know and I’ll try to help. I'd love to pray with you about it. I'd love to see if I can comfort you with it. Reach out, set up some time with me. I'll be happy to talk to you about it. If you don't feel like you can talk to anybody else, you can certainly talk to me.
I hope you have a great day. Take care.
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