Feeling Distant From God

Psalm 13:1-2

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?

Sometimes it feels like God is distant.  Like he’s hidden his face from us.  We wrestle with thoughts and feelings and feel depressed for one reason or another.  It sure happens to me from time to time.  The thing is, it obviously isn’t the Lord who has changed.  He is what he is for ever and ever.  We are the ones who have changed or gone astray.  If anything is broken, it is us.  If anyone is to fix it, it is the Lord.  We get into trouble when we try so hard to fix ourselves.

By all means we can help the process along by cooperating.  When we feel led to make changes in our lives for the better, then it only makes sense to be pro-active in doing those things.  But at the heart of it all, we have to trust the Lord to turn us and set us back on the right path.  The psalmist goes on…

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

I’m reminded of the old poem called Footprints In The Sand by Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”

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