When God Feels Distant
Does God feel distant?
Floyd McClung writes: ‘You wake up one morning and all your ‘‘spiritual feelings’’ are gone.
You pray, but nothing happens.
You rebuke the devil, but it doesn’t change anything.
You go through spiritual exercises, have your friends pray for you, confess every sin you can imagine, then go around asking forgiveness of everyone you know.
You fast; still nothing.
You begin to wonder how long this spiritual gloom will last. It feels like your prayers bounce off the ceiling. In utter frustration you cry out: ‘‘What’s the matter with me?’’
This is a normal part of the testing and maturing of your friendship with God. We all go through it. It’s painful, but it’s absolutely vital to developing your faith. You see, God is always present, even when you are unaware of Him. His presence is too profound to be measured by intellect or emotion. He’s more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him. ‘‘Faith, not feelings, is what pleases God’’ (Hebrews 11:6).
You ask, ‘‘So what can I do?’’ Isaiah answers, ‘‘The Lord has hidden Himself…but I trust Him.’’ Focus on God’s unchanging love and faithfulness. Cling to His promises.
During times of spiritual dryness, rest on His Word, not your feelings. Realize that He’s taking you to a deeper level of maturity. Any friendship based strictly on emotion is shallow indeed. So don’t be troubled by trouble—God’s grace is still in full force! He’s with you even when you don’t feel Him.’ His word to you today is, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
‘The Lord has hidden Himself…but I trust Him.’ Isaiah 8:17 GNT