Last week we moved from one internet supplier to another. We had been told that our new supplier would activate the connection remotely and send me a text message when the internet was live. We waited and waited… and waited. Seconds turned to minutes and minutes to hours. Can you imagine a whole day disconnected?! A whole day without instant access to the world wide web! Happily the following day we managed -eventually- to get the problem solved.
All of us have experienced that feeling of being disconnected. This year has been marked by such feelings of isolation and disconnection as we have been told we can’t meet with people we love, or shake hands or even talk to neighbours without a mask.
I’m sure all of us have also experienced a feeling of being far from God at times. Disconnected from our Heavenly Father, our source of light and life and joy and peace.
One of the terrible tolls of feeling far from God is that doing the most important things we need to do to draw near to him -ridding ourselves of sin, praying, and reading Scripture- becomes all the more of a challenge.
How do we press through these periods in our Christian lives?
I offer just two simple suggestions:
Firstly, remember His promise- he is never far from those he loves
The Lord has promised to be with his people:
God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.Hebrews 13:5b-6
What can mere mortals do to me?”
‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
It’s no bad thing to hunger for an experience of God’s presence and power “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” (Ps 42:1) However we should always remember that even in the times when God feels far away, the truth is that he is still with us, and working for us. Indeed it is often in these dry seasons that much of our Christian growth occurs.
Secondly, Remember the price-
Remember the price Jesus paid that we might know fellowship with God, remember how he subjected himself to isolation. Alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, alone on the cross, alone as he cried out in a loud voice ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’). (Mark 15:34)
He knew true loneliness, that we might know that in Him God is always with us, he will never leave us nor forsake us. These are testing times, but the one thing we never to worry about as believers in Jesus is being truly disconnected from God. No matter how we may feel at times he is with us and he is for us.
‘Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.’2 Thess 2:16-17