The Dirty Gospel : When God Disappears
This is a picture of my living room and in many ways what my relationship with God feels like sometimes. It is empty and God is not to be found. Sure, there are reminders like boots on the floor that He is here somewhere, but I can't see Him.
Back in college it seemed that God was everywhere I looked. His voice sounded so near and His presence was unmistakably close. I didn't have to look for Him. He was just everywhere. I have had other times in my life since then that God has been beyond evident. I love those seasons where I can feel God with me.
But, something happens between those obvious moments with God. He seems to disappear...God hides.
Sure, He is around still. I just can't find Him.
I read the Bible and it feels dry. I pray and can't seem to go more than two sentences before I completely loose my train of thought due to disengagement. God's voice begins to feel more like a rumor than a reality.
Is this some cruel joke? Did God manipulate my emotions and then check out?
What used to be endless journaling trying to catch all the dreams God was putting in my heart turned into blank pages with nothing to be written. God is silent.
These dips in my relationship with God used to throw me for a loop. I would get confused and doubtful if anything I had previously experienced had been real. How could I depend on a God that seems bi-polar at times. Is God flakey?
I've come to discover that these silent moments where God appears to be missing are when the Gospel does a deep work in me. I need the "highs" with God, but I need the depth too.
Experiencing God produces a desire for Him, seeking God produces faith in Him. ---> click to tweet
When God disappears, I have to make deliberate and non-emotional steps to seek Him. My faith becomes stronger and there is a steadfastness that builds up like a deep anchor in my soul. I learn how to believe that He is with me when I cannot see Him.
I need that skill on weeks like this one. My friend Stevie died of brain cancer. Our adoption hit a new snag and it appears to be delayed even longer...
Times like these, I am thankful that God seems to disappear from time to time. I have learned the defining truth that when I seek Him I will find Him. I will find Him late in the night when I don't think I have what it takes to obey what He is asking of me. I will find Him in the pain that seems unbearable.
The Gospel is dirty because it makes us dig deeper into the scary, painful and fearful places. And in that process of digging we realize that God has actually never left.
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