What do you do when God feels so far away? When there seems to be no feeling at all, no Voice, no overwhelming peace? Just the absence of anything deeper?
That isn’t how I wanted to start this post. I wanted it to sound beautiful, inspiring, but though it’s laced with desperation, it’s imperatively honest. Because for this past week, and maybe even for this past month, I’ve been there.
It took me a while to come to that conclusion – to be truthful with myself – to let myself admit that I haven’t been feeling my faith recently.
At first thought, I was horrified that it would even cross my mind that perhaps God wasn’t speaking to me as I clearly remember Him doing. It terrified me that maybe…I’ve been relying on myself so much, that life’s been so good, so easy lately, that I’ve forgotten my need to rely upon Him.
For a while I thought I was fine.
But I began to think differently, and until this weekend, I didn’t even realize it.
For a little while, God had been reduced to being a religion in my mind, a concept, a transcendent Being, far, far away from where I am.
Life became passionless…Bible reading became tedious…faith became flat.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, I realized. Faith is much more than a feeling, yes, but it shouldn’t be devoid of joy, either.
I took my journal, favorite pen, and Bible out, and I prayed. And it refreshed my soul.
It’s been a while since I really, truly talked with You.
To be honest, Lord, and You know my heart – I haven’t felt You, lately.
Not in a big way. Or even in an emotionally gratifying way.
I think things shifted when I started thinking of You as being far away from me, looking far down on me, silent, watching, but never intervening.
I suppose I equated You with a deceased relative in that sense, which is ridiculous, because You are GOD.
But the mind does crazy things sometimes.
I forgot that You are with me, right here, right now, in this moment.
I forgot that I am in Your presence, and in Your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
I lost that joy.
I traded Your joy for doubts, for philosophical theories, for concepts and ideas about You – instead of embracing Your unchanging, immovable truths, those truths I’d supposedly built my life on.
I forgot that the hands that cradled my heart, those very same ones that hung the stars in the sky, and bled for me.
I forgot that I wasn’t good enough on my own.
I forgot that…I needed You.
Not just when I’m weak, but when I think I’m strong, I still need You. And I want You.
Lord, You do not change, but I do. I get tossed sometimes, led astray from the Truth that You put in front of me.
But thank You for who You are.
Because You are God…and I am not.
You are unchanging…and I am not.
You are good…when I am not.
You still love…when I do not.
“I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
These verses hit me so hard. When I read them, I had to stop, and read them again, and again, and realize, “Wow, God is speaking to me RIGHT NOW. Right as I need it.”
At times, I forget that my doubt does not define God’s Truth.
My emotions do not define His character.
My philosophies do not define His nature.
My forgetfulness does not define His hope.
Slowly, slowly, I am regaining the essence of what it is to truly see. See through the lens of Truth – see God for who He is, not who I want Him to be – see myself how He sees me, not how I think I should be seen – see what life is, full of passion and joy and goodness and full of God Himself.
No longer do I want to see truth through the eyes of the world, but instead see everything else through the eyes of Truth. Through God’s eyes, not mine. In the light of His Word.
I can’t say I’m fixed, that I’ve got it all figured out. I don’t think I ever will, frankly. But each day is new, one to learn, to grow, to taste God in a new way.
Even though this life is messy – even though you and I are messy – it’s a beautiful journey. One we best not take for granted.
Because even when we cannot feel God, He is there. In every moment, with every breath we take, we can call upon Him. And He is there.
27 Replies to “When God Feels So Far Away”
I can fully relate to your post. You stated it beautifully and what a lovely poem! When I realize I’ve been drifting away I start reading my bible like a story. I just read for pleasure and soon enough I am captured once again by the passion that God breathes for me. Then I can once again restart the conversation.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you so very much! Oh, I love that – reading the Bible like a story. What a wonderful way to refresh your spirit in God’s Word.
Thanks for stopping by Scattered Journal Pages! It’s nice to meet you. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for this post Amanda. I can say that I’m in the same position as you are in.
Yesterday night I was listening to “Great are You Lord” and the lyrics go like this:
“You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise”
When I got to the ‘It’s Your breath in our lungs’ part, I really started to open up and be honest about myself. And now I’m reading this post. Thank you so much for this post. I’m so glad that God has brought me here. 🙂
Great Are You Lord is a great song! Very, very encouraging when we feel powerless and worn out, honestly. Thanks for your transparency here too – it’s not always easy to open up, but so cool for people (like me!) to be encouraged that others are learning very similar things. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sometimes I think that along with your book Everyday Grace, you should publish a collection of all your blog posts, separated by topic. Because THIS. ❤ You just have such a gift.
You’re the sweetest, Emily. 😉 I’ve actually been considering this for a while, just not sure of how exactly I’d pull it off. Thank you SO MUCH for your encouragement – it’s what keeps me going, truly! ❤
For the first time in a while I have started praying a prayer that I do believe God is hearing and responding to… my prayer essentally is simple but asking for help. I pray ” God Please help me fight suicidal feelings.” I knoow it is such a simple prayer but is honest. it is not me asking for something or being greedy and doing a selfish prayer.. I really suffer wwith heavy depression and sometimes suicidal thoughts and I can’t do this ride called life on my own.
I’ll continue to be praying for you as well, Evan. Honesty with God is so important, as is filling our minds with truth – that no matter what we FEEL (and we feel so much, really), that God is still good, that He still loves us, that He still has a plan for us, that He promises that we will never be without hope.
And it’s hard sometimes, so very painful – but don’t let yourself forget these things. We all need to keep on trusting God, and know that He’s always there for us, even when our feelings say otherwise.
LikeLiked by 1 person
God is good…. he is partly why I have not taken my life
God gave me a life that is hard to bear often but he gave me a life. Best not destroy it
I hope you have a happy christmas miss Amanda xoxo
I feel myself drifting to where you were often if I don’t stop and remember what’s in this post. It’s so easy to get to a place where you have no joy. Thanks for writing this Amanda it really helped me today. ❤
Wow, thanks for the encouragement, Ash. It’s kinda scary to think of how easy it is to come to this place, where God seems distant, and faith feels so small – but at the same time, it’s so relieving to know that we can come right back to God, who never leaves us, and always wants to fill us with joy. 😉
I don’t know how many times I’ve felt like this, even recently. It’s sad and kind of scary. But God is always there for us no matter what, and He wants us to be close to Him, and He’s patient. Thanks for this post.
It’s so great to know that His love for us is not dictated by our faithfulness, or our “feeling” of Him – because if it were, we’d definitely have a problem. 😉 But yeah, it’s easy to fall into a joyless, defeated existence – but it’s so wonderful to know that God has SO much more in store for us in our lives than that.
Your honesty in this post is so inspiring and I just want to thank you for sharing. This is something we all go through, and just proves that out relationship with God takes work and isn’t always easy. I struggle with this as well, I totally put God on the back burner at times, but so do even some of the godliest of the godliest Christians do. You’re not alone, and God, thankfully so, never leaves us or forsakes us, even when we do it from time to time.
Loved this post ❤ Thanks again for sharing!
Thank you so much, Elizabeth! Your encouragement and insight is a blessing. 🙂 Praise God that He is unfailing.
Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment!
I too, have felt like this way more than I’d wish recently. Sometimes I feel fully submerged in God’s love and grace. And sometimes I feel like there’s no connection between me and Him.
Especially at this time when it’s busy and stressful, and you can feel like there’s no time to spend time reading God’s word, talking to him, and trying to do what He would want you to do at every turn of the corner in your life. But there always is time. Never be fooled into thinking that you can manage your life on your own. Without Christ, it is impossible. But with Him, all things are possible. A good reminder. Thank you, Amanda. 😘
Totally with you there, Marja. It’s great to be reminded that while feelings come and go…God is always there, and He will never let us down. Even in our own crazy and stressful lives. 😉
Thank you, girl!
Again, this is exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it! How do you do this, haha??? Your posts always speak so deeply to me…
Also, you’ve given me the wonderful idea to try writing my prayers out. I usually get so distracted when I try to pray, but I do love writing, and writing out my prayers sounds like a really awesome way to stay committed…
This post is truly amazing. Your faith constantly astounds me. 🙂
Haha, wow, that is amazing! Praise God! 😉
Oh yes, writing prayers has been so helpful for me – keeps me focused, honest, and also to stay committed. It’s always good to feel free to switch it up, though, because prayer should never become ritualized or forced, but from an open heart.
Thank you SO MUCH. ❤
LikeLiked by 1 person
Your blog is definitely one of my favorites, haha!
Ooh! That is very true!!! I’m going to try and start writing prayers out, especially when I can’t seem to focus. And yes!!! Through an open heart is the best sort of prayer!!!
Deep inspiring post once again. Thank you.
Faith, thanks a bunch. Your overwhelming encouragement means more than you know. ❤