What area of your life are you having a hard time believing that God is right there with you in the midst of it? Where do you feel the most alone?
We have a cat named Oreo. Yes, he is black and white. We actually have two cats, and of the two, Oreo is our most daring and curious. He loves to climb and explore. He isn’t much of a snuggler, but will play catch with a bouncy ball almost any day. Every so often though Oreo’s nature shifts, and he will be desperate for love. He begs to be petted and held. He will do whatever it takes to get the attention he craves.
Desperate For Love
Often it is when I am busy at the computer and not able to give him the love he craves. But that doesn’t stop him. He will walk circles around my chair and jump up whenever there is a slight opening. No matter how many times I put him down, he immediately jumps back up. I will even try to go into another room in hopes that he will get distracted and move on. This just seems to ramp up his need, and he will follow me to the next room. As I carefully try to escape I have to be careful not to step on him as he walks intertwined with my feet. My plan always fails because the second I sit, he is right on top of me again, determined to get the love he needs. Once on my lap he doesn’t curl up in a ball and snuggle in. No, he climbs up my chest and wraps his front paws around my neck, almost like he is giving me a full body hug.
Several years back I found myself in a season that was different from any I had experienced before. I felt buried. Like I was slowly sinking. Divorce rocked our family. Work was confusing, hard and wounding. Friendships quickly disappeared. Not only was my life affected, but it extended into my marriage and my children. Many days it took everything in me to get out of bed. Often I went to bed crying just to wake up the next day to do it all over again. I felt alone, broken, battered and bruised. The worst part was God felt distant.
Have you been there?
I felt like Oreo, desperate for love. It felt like every time I reached out to the Lord, He put me back down. I desperately wanted answers. I cried out in desperation to have it be fixed or to just go away. But it felt like every time I reached out I was rejected, unheard and unwanted. I wondered if God was still working and if He was still faithful and trustworthy. I was trying to DO all the right things. I kept busy, kept doing. But then I realized I was looking at it all wrong.
God was actually more like Oreo. God was the one circling around me the whole time. God was waiting for His chance to come in to give me the love I needed. I was the one rejecting His love. Distracted by my problems, I was too busy to notice His tender words of comfort. I didn’t realize that the Bible verses and songs running through my head were the words of truth of life that I needed to hear.
When I walked away, I was the one choosing not to follow God’s way. I was the one taking matters into my own hands or numbing out and going through the motions. He was chasing after me, trying to get my attention. He was trying to slow me down enough to listen. But I couldn’t see past the pain, disappointment and confusion.
Finally I did choose to stop and sit. Just like Oreo, God jumped into my heart ready to shower me with His love. This small act of pausing opened up an overwhelming sense of comfort and support. I felt encouraged and equipped. Of course my problems didn’t magically disappear, but I had a new sense of hope.
He reminded me it isn’t about what I needed to do or not do. I needed to remember Whose I was. I was God’s daughter, and He loved me unconditionally. He wanted to be in a relationship…an intimate relationship with me. Instead of focusing on my problems or the tasks at hand, I needed to devote my time and energy to focusing on Him. I needed to learn to hear His voice and walk confidently in what He was telling me to do.
As I did that, God picked me up. He began the process of healing my heart and replacing the lies with truth. He set my feet on solid ground. When I finally learned how to sit, relax and enjoy His presence, I was able to believe and experience these truths about God.
- God’s love is unconditional, even when mine is not.
- God had always been by my side, and He would never leave me.
- God never changes. He is faithful and trustworthy.
- God will always lead us, step by step.
Time with God
If you find yourself in a similar situation, buried and alone, be encouraged. You are not alone! God is circling around you just waiting for you to pause and spend time with Him. When you do, you will not be disappointed. He will give you the comfort and love your heart desires. He won’t leave you there. He will walk beside you, leading the way through the junk you are in. His desire is to be in relationship with you. He desires daily communication with you. He knows you fully, and He wants you to know Him completely. God is ready and willing. We just have to be ready and willing to pause and connect with Him. God knows exactly what you need. Trust Him to provide.
Working your way through the battles you face is a process. Your Creator and Savior knows the best route. Seek Him and He promises to show the way. Here are some of the things I do when I find myself feeling alone and distant from God:
- Read Scripture: Psalm 27, Psalm 34 or Philippians 4
- Worship in Song: Tell Me or You are Faithful by Carrollton. Greater or Best News Ever by MercyMe. I Thank God by Maverick City and UPPERROOM.
- Gratitude: Make a list of everything and everyone you are thankful for.
- Journal: I write a letter to God to get all my thoughts out, and I mean ALL of them. The good, bad and ugly. Then I sit in silence and allow the Lord to “write back” and speak to me.
“So do not worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:31-34
How about you? Have you found yourself in a similar place? How do you pull yourself back so that you can pause, believe, and spend time with God?