For these past few weeks I've not been feeling too close to God. I know, feelings have little to do with it - no matter what I've done or not done, God still sees me the same. I'm His child. But still, for some odd reason I've felt that He doesn't seem to be talking much to me. Any prayers would be greatly appreciated. It's one of those times where you want to ask softly during the day, and cry out at night, "Where are you, God?"
Happily, in a way, I'm discovering that that's the wrong way to think of it.
A month or so ago I got an email from one of my good friends on a social network I'm a part of. Something had happened, and they needed encouragement, so I grabbed my Bible and frantically thumbed through several books trying to find a meaningful verse - not one that sounded too cliche-ish, but something to take to heart. I fell across Philippians 4:5b-7: The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
My first thought was, "Eh... too well known. Everybody says that kind of thing." But I got to thinking about it more - which I should have done long ago. The main part that caught me was "The Lord is at hand".
Reaching distance. No need to strain - He's close enough to be easily touched. So what's the matter - why does He seem far off to all of us at some time or another?
Here's what I think.
If you can't feel the Father's arms around you, it's not the reach of His arms, but probably your ability to feel. If He seems invisible, it's not the distance - maybe it's your eyesight. God's where He's always been - close as ever. So maybe the question isn't "God, where are you?" Maybe it should be "God, where am I that I can't see you?"
I'm still searching for the answer to that question, and awaiting the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding". And even though He never promises in this verse to give me what I ask for (did you notice that?), He does promise peace. Though, come to think of it, even that is something we can often be blind to.
Here's the great thing, and something to be remembered - God specializes in making the blind to see. :) So we can honestly say with Paul, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall (not "might", "shall") know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Cor. 13:12)