I was in a season for few weeks where I felt really distant from God. It feels weird to even type that. I was hesitant to even tell you all because I didn’t even know how to say it. But a friend of mine stood on stage at church this past Sunday and said that she too felt distant from God. It gave me courage to admit that I am in the process of coming out of that very same place. And it is indeed a process.
Have you ever been distant from God? Isn’t it crazy how quickly it can happen? Sometimes it starts with a little sin that we rationalize and then we find ourselves drowning out the voice of the Lord and quenching the spirit as it stirs our hearts to turn back. Or its a little sloth in the morning…a little less quality time with God and more quick obligatory prayers rushing to the office. Or maybe it is an outright choice rooted in bitterness towards the Lord and His sovereign plan that we frankly, don’t agree with. Separating ourselves from Him because we didn’t get our way. I think mine is a result of all three. It was the perfect storm to leave me feeling like one of those boats that went out to sea with the best of intentions and somehow… now can’t find the shore.
I think that is why Hebrews 6 describes our Hope as an ANCHOR for our soul. Because when we choose Sin over obedience we have really said that we hope this temporary pleasure satisfies us better than God can. We hope a little bit more rest will give us the strength to get through rather than depending on Him. And when we are just mad at God? We have just lost all hope completely.
Without Hope, we have no anchor. And without an anchor…we drift. Drift away from the things we know to be true, reliable and safe. We drift from the very voice that once gave us peace. It happens a little over time. So slowly sometimes that we don’t even realize we aren’t where we used to be. Drifting is subtle and often times it can even feel good. Like freedom? like independence? like rebellion. You know the feeling I am talking about.
The thing about drifting is that at some point you get so far out you aren’t quite even sure where you are…or how to get back. You look up and you’ve lost sight of the shore. Regret, shame, and guilt add on to this overwhelming feeling of being…disconnected.
“How did I get here? and how Do I get home?”
To us, it seems like the shore is so far away. Maybe even impossible to find. We think God could never take us back or love us the same after the way we intentionally or unintentionally wandered off. He couldn’t accept a hypocrite like me back. We believe that we have gone too far. But when we are in Christ, we can rest assured that He is never far. We FEEL distant from Him but HE is never distant from US.
We can turn to HIM at any point in time and He will turn us back the right way. Start with the little things. Put on some worship music. Grab an old journal. Study a scripture. Go to church. Call a friend. Kneel. Speak. Cry. Just start. Don’t stay away just because you’ve stayed away. The invitation for us to come home is always open. The shore will appear again. The distance will only stay as long as we let it.