The Distant Days

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I sit down to pray. Yet, instead of a listening ear, my mind bursts with thoughts about the house, the cleaning, the holidays, the work, the plethora of things I could be doing but am not.

Some days feel distant from God. As little as I like to admit it, there are days, and sometimes weeks, where my life feels sectioned off from the sight of God. In the quiet, only my own thoughts echo back to my questions.

Three years ago I found myself sitting on my bed, crying (literally) to God and feeling very alone. I was applying to go on a summer-long mission trip with my best friend, and she had just let me know that God was pulling her heart toward a different trip, a different country. The floor underneath my feet seemed to fall away. I felt simultaneously betrayed by my friend (who had begged me for months to go with her) and uncared for by God (because I had, actually, felt the tug to spend the summer serving). My turbulent mind seemed to feel God’s hand pulling out of mine. And, empty-handed, I cried to God.

I can remember sitting there, in the near dark, letting my anger loose and my tears fall. I was surprised to find that He met me there. It was a place that felt utterly alone and uncomfortable—the prospect of going to a new city by my self felt daunting, and my heart was still recoiling. But God sent strength and encouragement.

He bent down low, cupped His hand around His mouth, and whispered, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

And I knew that I was not alone. The floor seemed to resurface and my feet felt secure. Feeling came back to my fingers, and I knew that His hand was still there, squeezing tightly. And that special peace that comes from God filled all of me. I didn’t know what my summer was going to look like, but the not knowing felt strangely okay. It even felt good. My tears, still falling, were from gladness and joy instead of sorrow.

That summer ended up being extremely impactful on my walk with God. I went to Chicago for ten wonderful weeks and fell in love with the city. The days were filled with community and growth; and I got to see God do amazing things. I know that He blessed my obedience in going and treasure the memory of my time there.

Today I find myself feeling distant again, but He isn’t far. He sits beside me during my morning coffee. He dines with me at supper. He holds me in His hand always.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

So, sweet and caring Lord, open my eyes to see more of You.

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