We live lives full of emotion. There’s joy, pain, sadness, closeness, excitement, anxiousness, and a full range of other feelings we experience each day. They enhance our moods, tip the scales on our decisions, and often affect our sense of reality. Relationships are also affected by our feelings. One moment we can feel so close to someone, and the next feel as if we hardly know each other. This is something that used to greatly affect my relationship with the Lord. There were times when I greatly felt his tangible presence in my life. I saw him in the sunrise and the birds in the trees. I heard him speak so clearly and it made me feel so close to him. But other times I felt as if I were numb. Bland days of ricocheted prayers when my feelings of distance aroused doubt and confusion.
Have I done something wrong? Are you still there? Have I fallen out of grace? Do my prayers even bend your ear, God?
These are common responses to anyone who has lived off of feelings rather than faith. In fact, most believers go through these seasons that, to us, are such a struggle and yet are precious to God. These are moments when the Father swells with pride as he watches his child trust him despite circumstances, reasoning, or emotion. These are times when our faith is tested and we’re given the opportunity to come forth as gold. These are the real golden moments! But it can be hard. If a friend is standing in a room with your and says, “I’m right here with you”, It’s easy to believe because we see them and their presence is verifiable. It’s natural to literally and emotionally feel close to that person because we know they’re right there with us. If they walked around the corner and again remind us by saying, “I’m still right here with you.” We’d still believe them even though all we have to go by is their word. You hear them so you know they’re still there. Sometimes all we have to go by is God’s word. But let me assure you it’s enough. In those moments of doubt we can open his word, hear what he has to say, and build our faith. After all, the Bible tells us in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. When he says, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you”, he’s saying he’s right there with you. So in those moments when you can’t feel the Lord, open his word and listen to him. Take him at his word to build faith that feelings can’t shake. Let the very thing that’s precious to the Lord (trust in him) become precious to you. He’s right there with you!