A Guest Blog by Jazmin Frank
One day about a year ago, anxiety, stress, and life, in general, had left me weary and in need of a soul-level kind of rest.
With a Christian bookstore only ten minutes from my house, it wasn’t uncommon for me to make a special trip there just to feel closer to God.
Books have often been an avenue for me to encounter God, so that day I perused every single shelf of that bookstore, hoping to find something that would help me connect with God and hear His voice.
However, the longer I looked through the shelves of books, the more I realized that what I really needed wasn’t there.
I didn’t need to read another story about someone else’s encounter with God—I needed God to meet me in the middle of my own story.
I needed to know that God was close and that He still cared about me.I needed to know that God was close and that He still cared about me. I needed Him to meet me in the middle of my story.
If you find yourself in a similar spot, hungry for an encounter with God, I want to offer you three truths to cling to:
When God Feels Distant—Remember He Desires You
One of the most beautiful truths in Scripture is that God wants us. This is a truth that is made clear right from the beginning.
In Genesis, we read about how Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the forbidden tree and as a result of their choices, we were exiled from Eden.
At first glance, this seems like a harsh punishment for eating a piece of fruit, but there is more going on here.
God sent them out of the Garden, so that they wouldn’t eat of the Tree of Life and live in their fallen, sinful state and be separated from Him forever (Genesis 3:22-24).
The day Adam and Eve left the Garden, God started His Great Rescue Mission, intent on bringing humanity back into perfect relationship with Him. And that’s where Jesus comes in.
Jesus is our flesh-and-blood proof of just how much God desires us.Jesus is our flesh-and-blood proof of just how much God desires us.
He made Himself like us and took the punishment we deserved so that we could be with Him forever.
John 3:16 is a familiar verse to many of us, but sometimes our familiarity with it causes us to forget the power behind the words. Read these words now as if for the first time:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16, ESV
That’s how much God desires you—enough to send His Son to die so that you could spend eternity with Him.
When God feels distant, spend a little time with Him. Let go of your need to perform or do all the right things.
Let the lies fall away that you’ve screwed up too many times for God to want you. Instead, let Him remind you just how much He loves you and desires to be with you.
When God Feels Distant—Remember He Delights in You
Sometimes we can feel like God couldn’t possibly find pleasure in us. We’ve messed up too many times. We have too many needs. We feel more like a burden or obligation rather than a blessing, but oh how far that is from the truth.
Zephaniah 3:17 is one of my favorite reminders of how God feels about you and me:
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17 ESV (emphasis mine)
That “loud singing” part always gets me. God doesn’t just exult over and celebrate us—He does it loudly!
He finds great joy and pleasure in us!
And in the same way, we can find delight in Him.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” – Psalm 37:4 ESV
To delight in God means that no matter what else is happening, we can still claim joy even in the hardest of circumstances because we know He’s not going anywhere.
It’s in delighting in God that our heart’s desires are met.As we delight in God, He fulfills the desires of our hearts.
This doesn’t mean we get everything we want, but that our hearts are filled up with exactly what they were made for: God’s presence and love.
When God feels distant, invite Him to speak His delight over you. Psalm 139 is a great passage to read if you need a reminder of what God thinks about you.
When God Feels Distant—Remember He Dwells with You
In the Old Testament, God lived among His people. His presence rested above the ark in the tabernacle and later in the temple Solomon built.
Today we are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, He sent His Spirit to dwell in us (Acts 2:4).
God lives inside of you and you have access to Him whenever you want.
We don’t have to go through a priest because Jesus is our high priest. He has made a way for us to not only connect with God but to dwell with Him.
Dwelling with God is the most intimate, intentional aspect of our relationship with Him. It means we do life with Him.
David was an excellent example of one who sought to dwell with the Lord. In Psalm 27 he prays:
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” – Psalm 27:4 ESV
When we dwell with God, we are also dwelling on Him. Our attention is ever turned toward Him. We’re always talking with Him, seeking to know Him more.
To dwell with God means we set our gaze on Him and never turn away.To dwell with God means we set our gaze on Him and never turn away.
An easy way to welcome God into your day is to spend some time in prayer. Lay your heart before the Lord, share your concerns with Him, and take time to listen to what He has to say.
When God Feels Distant—An Invitation to Draw Close to Him Today
If you find yourself in a dry season right now and your heart is aching because God feels distant, I pray you allow these truths sink in and take the following steps:
- Rest in the wonder of how much God loves you and wants to be with you.
- Press into the truth that He is right here, right now, just waiting for you to show up and welcome Him into this moment.
- Ask Him to grow your desire for Him, to teach you how to delight in Him, and what it means to dwell with Him.
- Join us in the Jesus Before I Go Bible Study and begin to see who Jesus really is and His heart for you.
Don’t settle for a second-hand experience. Come close and experience God—all of His love, grace, mercy, provision, and freedom—for yourself.
– Jazmin Frank
Jazmin N. Frank is a Christian-living blogger and active dream-chaser. She has a deep passion for God’s story and helping others study the Bible for themselves. You can often find her curled up with a stack of books or creating hope-filled content for her blog. Learn more about Jazmin and her blog at jazminnfrank.com. Follow Jazmin on her social media channels! Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter