Years ago, a friend of mine bared his soul to me and told me he no longer ‘felt’ God. I remember thinking…how can you NOT feel God? I mean, His presence is everywhere, right?
How naïve I was and how heartbroken I have been.
Because just recently, I couldn’t ‘feel’ God either. Yes, I know many of you are already judging me in your mind….”Well, Nichole, you can’t live by what you feel, and it doesn’t matter if you can feel God or not. He is there.” Thank you for that, but trust me, it DOES matter. Because feeling His presence in my life has gotten me through some of the most painful things I have ever experienced. And NOT feeling His presence has left me feeling broken, lost, and fragile.
I tried to teach myself to row a boat once. It was a complete disaster. I got in the row boat, and it floated toward the middle of the pond. After reading awhile and soaking up some sun, I decided it was time to go back to shore. So I rowed, and I rowed, and I rowed. But I didn’t move towards the shore, I was only rowing myself in circles. Round, and round, and round. I could see the shore, but I couldn’t feel the land under my feet. Lately my life has resembled this experience, and I want (NEED) to feel land again.
I know I have mentioned it before, but this past year has been very difficult for me. I have been sick (like, don’t leave my house kinda sick) for almost 6 of the last 12 months. What’s worse is I thought I was better. Things seemed to be moving in the right direction, and then BAM, I am sick again and this time it is not just my body that is sick, it is my heart as well. I have spent the last month crying, screaming, ignoring, and withdrawing from God. Because I am angry….I am hurt….. I am frustrated….and… I am SICK OF BEING SICK. So there you have it.
I knew I was withdrawing from God.When I prayed, my prayers sounded hollow and forced.When I read my Bible, the words seemed like they were written for someone else.Someone more committed, more church-ey, and definitely more godly than I.And NO ONE knew.Not ONE person.Except perhaps my husband.Because I am a master at hiding my pain and I know all the right words to say and how to turn the conversation back to them when people ask me about me.My pain and frustration ran deep, and I held on to them both like trophies, stubbornly refusing to let them go, to surrender them to the only One who can heal and restore me.But yesterday, something shifted.I heard song that God used to break through the shell I had placed around my heart.
“Jesus, please come please come today hear me heal me be near me I pray I have fallen so far flat on my face I’m in need of your grace today I stumble and fall but in spite of it all your love always stays the same Hallelujah Hallelujah”Heather Williams – Hallelujah
How awesome my God is, to use this song to speak to my very soul.To remind me that He loves me and even though I stand in the middle of a raging storm, He is with me, He has not left me, He has not forsaken me and His love never fails….even when I do.I have heard many times as of late that you are either drawing close to God or you are drifting away.There is so much truth in this statement, truth that I never understood until now.Ya’ll life is tough and I know there are so many struggling with BIG stuff.Things that wreck everything in your life and make you question God.Rest assured, He can handle the questions, and He will answer in ways only He can.May I remind you today that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and while this may sound like a cliché, I invite you to trust Him on this and see what mighty work He does in you and through you.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Father God, forgive me for not trusting You with my pain. Help me to remember Your grace is sufficient in all things. Lord, forgive me for trying to do this alone, and forgive me for withdrawing from You when I should have been drawing nearer. You are my God and I am overwhelmed with how You love me and draw me closer to You. I thank You Father for Your truth and I ask You to use my pain for Your glory. In Christ’s name, Amen.