You’re going along in this getting to know God path and you’re learning things and realizing that God really does love you and cares about all the things in your life and you feel like you’re hearing and experiencing a closeness that you never experienced before and then for some reason it feels like you are talking and nothing is coming back. It’s like you’re out there all by yourself and for some reason your Heavenly Father isn’t out there with you. You’ve probably heard someone say that it seems like their prayers hit the ceiling, meaning they leave their mouth but never seem to make it to God’s ears. I picture it as I’m talking and the only answer is crickets chirping in the night. A very lonely feeling… How do we go from intimacy to feeling abandoned almost over night? It appears this is a common experience and we see in Psalms 35:22 David asking the Lord to not be far from him and we know that David chased after God with all of his heart and yet there were times he felt like we do.
When we hit the dry places I think it’s important to remind ourselves of what God says to us about His presence in our lives. In Hebrews 13:5 it says, … For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I think as a human being one of the most challenging things we have to learn is that our feelings do not necessarily represent what is true. I’ve had to decide that I believe that what the Bible says is true and when what I feel or what I’m experiencing doesn’t line up with what I know is in the Word I begin to remind myself what the Word says about things and choose to believe what it says over my feelings and circumstances. I have also found that this is not easy, in fact it can be one of the hardest things we do. Have you ever known someone or personally had an irrational fear? It’s when a situation is such that regardless of what is really happening a person is so afraid they cannot move forward. I’ve seen it with someone being so afraid of heights that they could not jump off the high dive even though they wanted to really badly. The fear totally overcame any rational thought, that is how strong our emotions can be, so it’s no wonder that they can make what isn’t true feel true to such a degree that we respond to them over God’s truth.
How do we respond to this time where we feel abandoned by our Heavenly Father? It’s really frustrating when you feel like you’ve been making all this progress and then it seems the river just dries up and I think the natural response is to rack your brain to see where you messed up, maybe made God mad or start to doubt what you had as being real. This is where the rubber meets the road for us in our continued press to be truly committed to getting to know what it’s really like to be our Father’s Daughter. I think we need to anchor in our hearts the example Jesus gives of the father in the parable of the prodigal son.
Luke 15:20-24 (NLT)
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[a]’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
While there are so many wonderful examples in this story, the part I want to focus on is just a few words in verse 20, “And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.” Although the son had left, spent, wasted really, all of the inheritance he had been given and basically just walked out of his father’s life, his father never stopped looking for him, expecting him back and when he did return his only response was to celebrate him and put him right back in a position of sonship within his household. I use this to help combat that feeling of abandonment or dryness knowing that my Heavenly Father never leaves me nor forsakes me and He cherishes me and celebrates me and regardless of what my feeling and emotions are telling me the truth is I’m still in the palm of His hand. While I don’t know why I experience some of the things I experience I do know that my Heavenly Father is there and it’s my responsibility to remind myself of His faithfulness. In Psalms 42 we can see how David turned the tables on these feelings, Psalm 42:5(NKJV) – Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
If you’re in season of dryness, or maybe you just happened to wake up feeling differently than you did the day before, don’t let these emotions dictate how you move forward. Instead, read the story of the prodigal son and see how Jesus showed us how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Read the scriptures in Psalms and see how David deals with similar emotions and reminds himself of the fact he is not alone despite how he feels. Instead of feeling alone and abandoned we can abandon the disquiet and frustration and embrace the truth of the fact that we are growing in our relationship, we are pleasing to Him and He is drawing us ever closer. Don’t give up! Persistence is the key, keep those words of truth in front of you, keep reminding yourself, pray and ask for help to get past the hard times. The Word says that it’s through faith and patience we inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12). Not every breakthrough comes easily and persistence and commitment are the only way to change but Jesus already bought our victory and He gave us the Holy Spirit to teach us, comfort us and bring to our remembrance the truth. We should be eating healthy every day to ensure our body daily has what it needs, so too we should be putting God’s Word into our spirits every day and if you’re struggling in an area, studying specific scriptures on that subject will probably be very helpful. Don’t be surprised if you have to come back but you will notice that you are able to recall more quickly the good things and it’s easier to overcome your emotions with the truth and pretty soon those crickets won’t sound lonely, instead they’ll be a song declaring the glory of the Lord!
A Daughter’s Prayer:
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
4 When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.[c]
6 O my God,[d] my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.