What Can We Learn During These Challenging Times?
Before Julie and I got married almost 30 years ago, she went to Uganda, to serve orphans for six months. That was before cell phones and Facebook. We could only receive a few letters during that time, so it was difficult to feel connected. I grew in my love for Julie during those six months even though I missed her greatly. That’s similar to how we can connect with God, when we feel alone. We can grow in our knowledge and love of the Lord while we long for his return. If we watch the news for even a few minutes, it’s easy to get depressed. God’s enemy wants us to feel like we are out of sight, out of mind. How do we experience the truth, that God is with us, when we don’t see or feel His presence? It starts with being honest with God. There are many Psalms where David shares his feelings with the Lord in his depression and brokenness.
Lord, why are you standing aloof and far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
In 1 Samuel God called King David, “a man after my own heart,” even though David sometimes complained about God’s apparent absence.
Of course, God hadn’t really abandoned David, and he’ll never leave us. These Psalms end with David receiving Gods truth about His presence.
For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
When you feel isolated from your Lord, don’t just say what you think He wants to hear. Be open and real with Him. Christian Clichés won’t make you feel better but being honest with the Lord will strengthen your relationship. We can’t get to the place of thanking God during the trials, if we don’t share how we feel despite what we know. When we openly acknowledge how we feel, then we can receive his truth, and then our feelings will be replaced by God’s truth. That’s when the healing truly takes place in ways the bring peace and joy, during our trials.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through these scriptures?