When You Don’t Feel Close to God

“Where the heck are You, God?”

My words sound strangled in my own head, imprisoned by my thick skull. The question has banged around and burned inside my mind for weeks. Months, even. And with time comes added bitterness.

Even to me, my pleas sound serpent-like as I hiss and spit my frustrations at Him.

Where had He gone? What the heck was He doing letting me suffer like this?

And why did He feel so frickin’ far away?

I think of all the other times I’ve shouted the same thing inside my head. Each time, God has felt sneakily aloof, like a gypsy who up and leaves without warning or plan for return. He didn’t even tell me where He was going, much less when He’d come back.

Worry slithers its way into my mind at first, like a worried mother who looked away for a moment and can no longer find her child on the playground. With darting eyes and quick breaths, I scan my surroundings.

Where is He? Where is He? WhereisHe?

The alarm soon transforms into panic. My heart falls over its sprinting feet at the thought of losing something so precious, something I’ll never be able to recreate on my own. I scan the playground again, this time with wider eyes, as though that will help me see more.

Where IS He?!?!

For me, this phase lasts only as long as my nerves endure. Then anger sets in. And for whatever reason, anger is much easier for me to kindle and cultivate.

HOW COULD HE JUST LEAVE ME LIKE THIS???

DOESN’T HE KNOW I NEED HIM?!

LOOKS LIKE I’LL JUST HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING MYSELF!

That’s when the image of the crucified Christ fills my mind, and somewhere in the depths of my soul, I hear his voice pleading, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”

Jesus, the man who did nothing wrong, cried out to God the same way I do now. Perhaps his words were even met by salty tears on his lips, like mine are sometimes.

And if He’d resolved to stubbornly and impatiently take matters into His own hands, He could have removed Himself from the agony of the crucifixion. But His trust in God during the worst moment in His life led to the most glorious event in all of history—the resurrection.

After all, God is patient and kind. He is not proud. He is not self-seeking. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

And God is always, always constant. From the beginning of time to the end of eternity, He will forever be all of those things.

Fickle me, on the other hand, seems to change, grow, and regress all the time.

Unlike Jesus, I looked away from God on the spiritual playground. I got separated from Him, not because He moved, but because I did.

So when you don’t feel close to God…who moved?

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