For a while now I have been struggling to ‘make contact’ with God. I know He’s there and He hears my prayers, poor and weak though they are, but I’ve felt dry and empty. I think many of us go through phases like this. I decided that I would try to do something about it (‘pray more’: doesn’t help when you’re struggling to pray anyway; ‘read the Bible more’: again, doesn’t help when you’re finding it hard to concentrate), so I went to visit a place of pilgrimage.
It was peaceful and beautiful, and I wandered round the different buildings and site enjoying being there, and I could certainly sense the presence of God, but what was I expecting? That God would meet me in a spectacular fashion and that my relationship with Him would be transformed instantly? That He would give me physical healing, which I still need despite a recent eye operation? That He would whisper some precious word to me to fire me up for the future?
None of this happened, and I went away somewhat disappointed. I’d certainly felt His peace there, but I came away, if I’m honest, feeling a bit angry – mostly with myself. I so much wanted to regain that precious closeness which I haven’t felt for some time. As I drove off through the stunning countryside, thoroughly enjoying His beautiful creation, I began to sense that God was smiling at me: “You don’t have to go to special places to find Me because I’m everywhere, yes, even in you, though you can’t always feel Me.”
Has that solved the problem? Not entirely, but it has helped to highlight one or two blockages that needed dealing with. I think that very often the trouble with our relationship with God is that we rely too much on our feelings, instead of knowing by faith that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b)
Prayer: Please forgive me, Fat.her; it’s me who’s been wandering away. Please show me where I’m going wrong, and what I must do to change. I know that You’ll never leave me, nor forsake me, and that You’ll always be there when I call; it’s just that I can’t always hear You. I love You, Father, Amen.
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