I’ve been feeling a little distant from the Lord. Still praying. Still reading. Still studying. But the thoughts are flowing less like water and more like molasses. In the middle of winter.
But recently I was listening to a song from a much anticipated (at least at our house!), soon-to-be-released album by Downhere (I love being a reviewer and being married to a reviewer, especially when it means sneak peaks like that!!). The first line of the chorus of this particular song is “Thank You for the heartbreak…” And it goes on in like form from there. The first time I heard the song, it grated on me. I loved it and hated it all at the same time. Why? Because it’s this nice, peppy, catchy, almost happy tune talking about being thankful for all of these hard things. There are days when that just doesn’t work for me.
This morning, I stared at a blank journal page and wondered what to write. The silence was suffocating as I wasn’t even sure how to start a prayer. And that’s when it hit me. That’s when I got it. I pressed the pen to the paper and wrote, “Thank You for the distance.”
Now, I know that He is always near to me. I know that He never leaves me or forsakes me. I know that, because I’m His, only my own sin truly prevents communion with Him. And, I know that my desire of late has been to make sure that my heart has been searched, known, and cleared before Him in confession and repentance to keep those channels open. So, I know He is not truly distant. But, He has felt distant.
And this morning I was truly able to be thankful for it.
I looked back over the past few weeks, I realized something. I have been more continual in prayer, although I’m still far from where I want to be. I’ve been more faithful to pray for others. I’ve been more diligent to pick up my Bible for reading and study on the “off” days or busy days instead of allowing myself to neglect it. I’ve been trying to be more thankful. And, I’ve been memorizing the first few verse of John 15 with the kids in school, so the concept of abiding has been forefront in my mind. I’ve been truly desiring to intentionally abide.
If His presence had been readily found in recent weeks and even months, I wouldn’t have felt so overwhelmingly compelled to push further in my prayer and communion with Him. I’m lazy by nature, and I like to put in the least possible effort required for the greatest results. But that doesn’t work with a truly disciplined heart that chases after God. I have to give my all.
I hadn’t been giving anywhere near my all.
For some insane reason, the incredible God, Creator of the universe, desires intimacy with little ole me. And, when I don’t give my all to that intimate relationship with Him, He does what it takes to push me in that direction. Even if it means being silent with me for a while and making me feel like there’s a distance.
So, I am thankful. Thankful for the silence. Thankful for the perception of distance. Thankful for a God who desires to do what is necessary to keep me close to Him. To remind me to abide. To show me that He desires intimacy with me.
Yes, I’m thankful.