Some time ago I was out walking on a narrow country road. I walked quite briskly, as if I was trying to prove something, following the road as it wound steadily up and through the hills. My heart was burdened, and I was feeling sorry for myself. An emptiness filled my soul and I was desperately searching for God. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t found Him. I had, many years previously, but for some reason He had gone, and I felt neglected and alone.
I was approaching the brow of the hill where the road turned up to the left. The sky was heavy, with ominous dark grey clouds hanging overhead. This seemed to reflect exactly the way I was feeling. I followed the road westwards to the top of the hill, where I could look down over the valley and on to the horizon beyond. “Where are you, God? Why have You left me?”
Suddenly, as I rounded the bend, I was met with an awesome sight that took my breath away. The cloud had become less dense and the sun was beginning to go down, now only partly hidden by wispy layers of colour, streaking across the sky. Gold, red, orange, purple and pink merged into each other as the veiled sun commanded the display. Vivid, bold, vibrant hues were making a dramatic statement right in front of me, as if God was speaking directly to my spirit. I stopped abruptly and stood motionless, gazing at the majesty and power displayed before me.
At that moment I knew God hadn’t left me. I was no longer alone. In fact, He’d been with me all the time, obscured by heavy clouds, but waiting for the right moment to display His glory. Thank You, Lord. My heart began to bubble up with His love. I felt a tinge of guilt, as I realised I had doubted Him, but this was drowned by an overwhelming joy in my spirit. I had allowed those dark clouds to blot Him out and their heaviness to weigh me down. The scene was dramatic and powerful, as if God was shouting at me. “Here I am, don’t be afraid. I am with you.” Why had I been so foolish to think He’d left me?
This experience has lingered with me for many years. Now I know that whatever I’m going through I’m not alone. He lives within me by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). I’m safe.
So often we rely on our feelings to tell us where we are in life. We wallow in our emotions thinking our world is falling apart. But emotions give a false reading of our true condition. The real barometer of life is measured not by our feelings, but where we are in God. ‘The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace’ (Romans 8:6).
Why do we doubt Him in times of need? Why are we anxious when we think He’s left us on our own? The truth is we don’t need to ask to Him to come back. He’s never been away.
Prayer: Father God, Your majesty fills the heavens and the whole earth is full of Your glory. Please forgive me for doubting and for thinking You had passed me by. I now acknowledge Your presence in my life and know that You care for my every need. I choose to rest in that truth and allow Your peace to fill my spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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