Sometimes He just doesn’t seem to be around.
But God has said: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, Deut. 31:6&8). Jesus put it this way: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Math. 28: 20)
Sometimes I feel totally alone.
Life here on earth in this age is often tough. Good times come, but so do hard times. At times God seems far away. We can feel so totally alone.
Nature is beautiful but certainly seems indifferent at times.
I can recall times I was alone out in God’s beautiful creation: Hiking up Tahquitz Peak, exploring dark Oregon woods, getting a pounding while body surfing at Laguna Beach. Nature is beautiful, yes, but it can feel so indifferent. It’s like those trees, streams, meadows, and ocean waves don’t really care about you and me.
Hiking down was the problem.
I was on a hike with Christian friends up San Gorgonio mountain in Southern California. It was a long, hard climb to the top. After several hours and near the top, my breath was coming in gasps. But we made it and spent the night in our tents and sleeping bags. Good fun. But the next day I got into trouble.
A few hours of pain.
You see my hiking boots were a little bit go big for me, so as I trotted down the trail, my feet kept slipping in them. My toes repeatedly slammed against the inner tip of those boots. Soon my toe nails were bruised and sharp pains shot up legs, but I kept descending. After about a couple hours that way, my friends took my backpack off my shoulders and carried it for me. That helped.
Out of water and nearly out of strength.
My canteen ran dry. The hike down the mountain was that long. I was becoming dehydrated and exhausted. God seemed far away and reachable. My pain was my reality.
Finally a drink.
Then at the bottom, I came across this lovely, narrow and deep, rushing mountain stream of ice-cold water. I thanked God, tears in my eyes, and knew He had been with me that whole time. I knelt and dipped my canteen cup and took a long, refreshing drink. I didn’t care that it wasn’t pop or fruit juice. It tasted wonderful.
It doesn’t depend on how we feel.
God is always near, always there for us. His presence does not depend on us being able to feel that He is there. It can be discouraging to go by feelings, to give priority to them. Much better to focus on facts, what God’s Word says–and believe. The feeling may come then or later. It may not come any time soon. But those verses are true. Always.
The Throne of Grace is always available.
“Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. With faith, hope, and better yet love for God, we can always enter in.
One more point…
It’s like that when God speaks to us too.
Of course I don’t mean in an audible voice–at least for me, not yet! But He can enlighten me in that deep, intuitive part of my mind, with fresh insights and recall key verses. His voice, like a true gentleman, is quiet, insistent but always gentle.
Hebrews 4:7: “…Today if you hear His voice…” God is speaking today. He never sleeps, doesn’t need to. His Holy Spirit is the essence of positive, limitless, creative energy, constantly ready to speak and to bless and to enable us to serve and bless others.
But are we ready to hear?
“Be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18.)
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25. )
An awesome prayer…
Paul prayed for the Ephesians believers: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him…that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe…” (Ephesians 1:17-19).
May we pray for one another.
May that be our prayer for each other too. And may we walk with God and learn in our experience that He is always there, that we can always count on Him.