What about those moments in life when God feels far away? What about those days when we don’t feel close to God at all, our prayers seem to hit the ceiling and we don’t want to open our Bible. Believers don’t often talk about such feelings because there is a sense of embarrassment which accompanies them. Shouldn’t we always feel God’s presence? Shouldn’t we always feel a burning passion to be with our God because of the sense He is near? Perhaps you feel alone in your spiritual lethargy. If so the following quote from a Christian mystic by the name of Madame Guyon might make you feel better about your current walk with God. I hope the quote will encourage you to see the opportunity such moments of spiritual lethargy bring to our life.
“When you can walk without feeling, without sense; when you can go beyond that place and not seeing your Lord, believe he is there by the eyes of faith alone. When you can walk further and further into Christ when there are no senses, no feelings, not even the slightest registration of the presence of God; when you can sit before him when everything around you and within you seems to be there falling apart or dead; and when you can come before your Lord without question and without demand, serene in faith alone and there before him worship him without distractions, without a great deal of consciousness of self and with no spiritual sense of Him, yet with your whole being you are centered and turned on him, then you are experiencing the true Christian life.” — Madame Guyon
Madame Guyon knew Christ, was devoted to Him and loved Him very much. She is known to have enjoyed great intimacy with God during her life yet she writes of times when the “feelings” of closeness with God were completely absent. How could such a giant of the faith know such feelings of loneliness for Christ?
Madame Guyon is not alone. All men and women of faith can attest to times when God withdrew the sense of His presence from their life. God does so with great purpose in mind. These moments are used to grow and perfect our faith. They move us from dependency on feelings and circumstances to dependency on God and His Word to us. Such feelings are a sign that we are moving from spiritual infancy to adolescence and further maturity.
If today you feel far from God, remember Scripture is clear that He will never leave or forsake you. God has simply chosen to be “quiet” for a season in order to grow your faith and dependency in Him. The quiet is the place in which we learn to love God better!