Sunday, May 13, 2012

Not Far Off

How do we deal with those moments where suddenly (or not so suddenly) God feels far away?  

Last night as I fell asleep my prayer to God was simply saying "I feel like you're far away," and not knowing what else I should say or do to "fix" that.  After a somewhat restless sleep, when I woke up my mind was immediately filled with thoughts of God's love for me.  And I marvelled and thanked Him that His love is so much greater than our love.  He does not move away from us, but when we turn away from Him, and then turn back, He is right there.

I had a similar moment a few months ago.  I was struggling with prayer (still am...).  And at a youth retreat weekend called Shape, we were given time to just sit and be alone with God, to listen for His voice.  So I was talking to Him about how I was struggling with prayer, and I felt the Spirit say "I am not far off.  When you pray, I am right there listening."  

Often since then when I'm not sure what to pray, or when I'm feeling like I did last night, that somehow I have gotten distracted and moved away from God, I feel the prompting of His Spirit say "Remember, I am not far off..."  

I think often when we get to the point where we can feel a distance between us and God, it comes after a longer time of ignoring what is taking us away from Him.  The reason could be sin, fear, or simply busyness and distraction.  I have experienced each of these.  Often I am simply choosing to fill my mind and time with silly things and not putting God first in my life.  Other times, like right now, I have something I am worried about, and rather than surrendering it to Him, I let this distance grow.  

But when I feel God say "I am not far off," I am reminded that the road back to closeness with God is not long and arduous.  There may be things I have to deal with, but getting back to God is as simple as turning around and recognizing that He is right there waiting.  He is not far off.  When I recognize how I have stepped away and when I let Him turn me around, His love is right there to surround me once again.  

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