Knock, knock, knock, God?
Knock, knock, knock, God?
Knock, knock, knock, God?
Are you there? Hello? God? Father? Daddy?
I feel lost and alone. I feel forsaken and forgotten. God. . . My life is so messed up. Everything seems so hopeless.
God, I have always loved you, served you, belonged to you . . . How did I get here?
Isaiah 63:15-19 (NLT)
Lord, look down from heaven; from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now? Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, Lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past. Lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession. How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.
As I read this passage emotion overcomes me. How many times I have cried out to God in a similar manner. . .
God, where are you? God, don’t leave me here! God, I know I’ve messed up and I am messed up, but I have nowhere else to go but You! How can it be when I know, that I know, that I know who You are and what You are – that I can be so stubborn as to lose sight of Your holiness, Your will and Your plan for my life? God, how is it that I could lose sight of the big picture and fall away from righteousness (right standing) with You when You are really all I’ve ever known or trusted to be true. I am Yours. I have always been Yours. Still, even though I have served you nearly my entire life, it seems it was only for a moment that I walked steadily on Your path. Now, that path seems almost unrecognizable. The enemy and my enemies have destroyed every semblance of holiness. What was once set apart for Your glory, seems destroyed beyond repair. God, sometimes . . . it seems like I never belonged to you in the first place. It’s as though, what was, never really was at all. How could I have walked so solidly and through so much adversity for so many years of my life only to find myself in this desolate and deserted place? The only thing I was ever really sure of . . . now seems sucked into the abyss with everything else around me.
When things get really difficult and I feel myself coming apart at the seams, I try to lighten the mood by telling my Christian family and friends that I should “get saved” or “give my heart to Christ” because it would make what I do so much easier! Yes, of course I am saved and those I say that to are well aware of my assurance of salvation, but I cannot help but think that sometimes, there is an element of truth to my jesting. While my life was surrendered to Christ long ago, I find I do not always feel close to God, nor do I feel I am fully operating within His plan for my life; mostly, because I am often – Not.
However, the one thing I know to be true is that whenever there is a rift in relationship with God and myself – it’s not God’s fault – it’s mine. God didn’t move; I did. I also know that while I may have traveled a million miles away from Him, I need only to turn around and He is there to meet me in that moment, in that place. I have a Holy Spirit assurance that I am not alone. Suddenly, the vast distance is no distance at all. However, it does not always feel that way.
Contrary to the feel good theology some ascribe to, renewing a right relationship with God is not always an instantaneous experience. While God meets us in that moment and we can absolutely know He is present, we have often become so jaded and damaged that our healing and renewal takes on the form of a recovery process. In some cases, we experience a complete and miraculous deliverance immediately, but sometimes our situation is more akin to a long, slow recovery and healing from a terrible, debilitating accident.
Sin is dark and heavy. The longer we stay in it, the more murky life becomes. Sin separates; from God, from man, and sometimes it seems, from our very sanity. It clouds and confuses our spiritual vision in such a way that we often begin to question our very worth to our loving Creator.
Jesus was God’s own son. In fact, Jesus was God in the flesh and even He felt separated, forgotten, forsaken on the cross when the weight of the sin of the world was upon Him. Had God forsaken, abandoned, discarded or disowned Christ? No. But the sin and darkness created a distance, a sort of disconnect, and the feeling within Jesus-the sacrificial, dying man, that God was not near. The truth though, is that God was never more near to each and every one of us than in that moment.
Life is so full of trouble and heartache that sometimes we do not even realize how we have allowed our hearts to become hardened. We have become desensitized to the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit and oblivious to the love and protection that God continuously provides. All too often, we approach God in an almost arrogant how could you manner that is a spiritually neon message that we are way out in left field.
In the above passage of scripture, Israel had done the same. They had been in their broken state for so long they tried to blame God for the relationship distance. However, with our bird’s eye view of the Bible, seeing God and man’s perspective, we realize that it was their own sin, hard-heartedness, disillusionment and distancing from God that was the issue. It was when things did not go or look the way they thought they should that they found themselves in that disconnected place.
Just as it takes time and effort to repair damaged human relationships, we must be willing to begin the process by making and deliberately taking steps toward rebuilding and renewing relationship with our loving, Daddy, God. He is already doing His part – we must turn around and meet Him; recognizing that while He may not seem near to us immediately, He is undoubtedly there. We only have trouble seeing Him because we have allowed the cares of the world, sin, heartache, disillusionment, fear and shame . . . to blind our eyes to His omniscient, omnipotent presence. Yes, regardless of circumstance, it is always our view, analysis, assessment, interpretation, understanding that is skewed, but as we determine to move closer to Him, and begin to invest ourselves in relationship with Him wholeheartedly as we once did, our relationship will blossom and soon we will feel as loved and secure in Him as we always have been.