“You will sense the Lord’s presence once again.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 12, 2022
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:15
There have been seasons in my life—perhaps like there have been in yours–when I have sensed the Lord’s closeness in indescribable ways. I have heard Him whisper into my heart in the middle of the night. I’ve felt His inspiration during innumerable moments when I have put words on a page. His presence has been thick, close, and tangible.
But in this season, I’m in a different place. I’m not sensing God’s presence and I’m not hearing His voice in the wee hours of the morning. Instead, I honestly feel emotionally tired and spiritually dry.
The writer Philip Yancey once noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.”
As much as we would always like to stay on the mountain top with Christ, it’s after we pass through the valleys that we learn in greater ways that He has been faithful all along.
I’ve had other times when I’ve felt spiritually dry during my 33-year relationship with Christ. But there are a few things that are different now than they were when I was a young, new believer and God felt far away. As a young woman, I doubted His love for me; I questioned if He was displeased with me, or I wondered if He had abandoned me, never to return.
During this current season, I’m strangely at rest and at peace. . . not because I am apathetic and don’t care about my relationship with Jesus, but because unlike times when I was young, I am convinced this too shall pass and that I belong to Him.
And, because I have conviction that I belong to Him, I know He will never leave me, and He will never forsake me. He is literally with me every minute. He’s with me as I type these words. He’s with me in the wee hours of the morning. He is with me, even when I don’t hear Him, don’t sense His presence, and feel uninspired.
It’s such a comfort to know that being God’s child means I don’t have to perform to feel spiritual. I don’t have to produce anything. I don’t have to keep pressing on to do more out of guilt or the fear that He will leave me if I don’t do enough. I belong to Him in the same way that a child always belongs to their parent, no matter how the child feels. I belong to Christ. It’s part of my identity. That will never change. Just knowing this helps me rest in this dry place. All things change and this will change too. One day soon, I will sense the Lord’s closeness once again, and once again I will be reminded that He is always faithful and never leaves.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)?
Lord, how I praise you for your loving presence and that you faithfully stay with me. When I am dry, I don’t have to do anything to earn your love or regain your favor. Help me to rest in You and trust that I will, once again, sense the closeness of Your love. Amen.
If you are feeling spiritually dry, ask the Lord if it’s because you are emotionally tired, if you have unconfessed sin in your life, or if He is teaching you something in the valley. And remember that regardless of the reason why, He will never leave you and you will sense His presence once again.
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