I think we all have felt it.
God doesn't feel even remotely close. Some seasons it feels like you're on top of the world, while other seasons feel like it's you alone in a desert.
I get it.
And truthfully it really sucks.
But I believe there are some things that God is teaching us though in the desert.
There probably isn't any better illustration than the Israelites in the Book of Exodus. The Israelites, freed by Moses' leadership and God's power, truthfully had one of the most roller coaster relationships you could ever imagine. Not only was Moses parting the Red Sea, but performing countless miracles and doing things unfathomable.
But just as God did incredible things in that moment, the moment didn't seem to last. The Israelites found themselves in the desert, tired, frustrated, and impatient.
Check out this verse from Numbers 14:2
All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!"
Doesn't this sound familiar?
God has moved in mighty ways in our lives, but soon after, we grow weary of the current situation. It's almost like we completely forget that God had ever shown up in the first place.
Here are some things that I believe God is teaching us in this seasons when God feels distant.
Lesson #1: Faith is not a Feeling
Our feelings are not always true.
Our feelings are VALID, but not always ACCURATE.
Think back to a time when you misunderstood someone, and you acted out of emotion. We've all done this to some degree where we acted out of anger, or assumed someone did something they did not.
Our feelings were wrong.
We FELT angry, or hurt, or confused, but the fact of the matter was it was completely different than you thought.
This is what happens when your emotions don't match your faith. Just because you don't FEEL God, doesn't mean that he's not right there with you.
The Israelites were doing this in the story we read earlier. They didn't FEEL God like they once did. Their hunger and the desert got the best of them.
They let their feelings cloud their faith.
Lesson #2: EVALUATE YOUR FOCUS
Many times we feel distant because of our own doing.
We feel distant to God because WE have been distant to him!
The Israelites lost FOCUS on their provider. They were blinded by the issues. Their FOCUS was in all the wrong places.
This is us too.
There are so many things in this life that distract us and pull our focus from our provider.
Here is short list of some things that may be distracting your focus from God.
Worried about the future
These are just a few.
Let's be honest, we live in a world that is so overwhelming and distracting, some of us haven't spent QUALITY time with God in a long, long time.
Lesson #3: YOU MAY NEED to go forgive someone
Jesus mentions many times that it's IMPOSSIBLE to love God fully with hate in your heart. There have been times in my life where my faith was stale not from my devotional life, but from my relationships.
It becomes very difficult to worship the God of LOVE when we are stuck in the root of BITTERNESS.
I don't care who you are, we have ALL been hurt.
Our father said something that cut us to the core.
A co-worker, who we thought was a friend ended up gossiping about us.
A friend we got into business together with ended up stabbing you in the back.
A church we thought was for us, ended up tearing us to pieces.
No matter who you are, you've been hurt and so have I.
For us to be close to God, we need to be close to love and forgiveness.
I challenge you to connect with those people. Call them up, or write them a letter. And what how your heart will become FREE.