Have you ever felt that God was just unreachable?
That no matter how much you prayed or sought after Him, that He was just too far away?
There are many times when I have felt lonely in serving an invisible God. It can be hard to hold onto hope when the God you serve cannot be seen. As an introvert, I crave alone time, in fact, I cannot function without it, but never loneliness. Loneliness reminds me of my life after my parents divorced, or all the moves I went through for my education. It’s not simply being by yourself, but knowing that you are on your own; you are your only help. Sometimes, that is what Christianity feels like. There are many times where I have felt that my prayers landed on deaf ears, or that it wouldn’t matter if I prayed or not because God’s answer would be silence, so I would just have to find my own answers to my problems. Too often, I gave into loneliness because it felt too overwhelming to serve our invisible God.
Luckily, God knows all of this and in His mercy, He makes concessions for us and there are times when He will remove aspects of His invisibility and show Himself more clearly to us. There are two major times that I can recall God unveiling Himself to me. When I was a freshman in college, I was truly, severely homesick. I became so anxious about living in a new place, and having to make new friends, and learn new material, that I simply broke down and begged my parents to bring me back home. I know that many college students are excited to find their own freedom away from the rules of their parents, but I wanted the stability of my old life, and found freedom to be intimidating. One day, though, I was in my dorm room, trying to work on homework, but I found myself crying at my desk, asking God why He would ever want me to go to Bible College and why it was so difficult for me to stay there. I kept questioning what I would do with my life and how did I know that I even made the right choice. Then I heard a voice in my room, not in my head like I normally do when God speaks, but this was a loud voice in my room, as though someone was standing right next to me, and speaking loudly. The voice said,
It was the first time that I stopped feeling lonely at school, and I felt hope in the path I had chosen. Without question, God clearly spoke those words to me.
The other time God unveiled Himself, was also during my college years, but not at college. My mother was dating a man I had a very low opinion of, and had major issues with. She knew that none of us approved of this relationship, but she decided that she wanted to marry him. I decided that it was time that I vacate my childhood home, and I moved all of the remainder of my belongings from my mother’s house, into my father’s house, and that would be the place that I would stay when I came back home between semesters at school. That was a really emotional move for me, for many reasons, mainly because it felt as though I was losing my mother to this other relationship. I felt lost and alone, trying to understand what good could come from all of this. I moved everything I had in secret and then I sat on the floor of my new room and told God that I was so lonely. I remember thinking back to a story that a missionary told in chapel that when they were lonely on the mission field, they asked God for a hug and that they felt God hugging them. I thought, that will never happen, but what do I have to lose? So I told God that I needed a hug, and instantly, I felt this warmth come over me. I could feel myself being embraced. In my loneliness, God gave me a hug and showed Himself to me in a new way.
I know that these stories are not super miraculous or even typical for everyone who has ever felt lonely. The Bible tells us that part of our faith is believing in what we cannot see and that God is Spirit; something not seen by the human eye. But I think the truth that I have learned about God is that God wants to reveal Himself to us, but maybe not in the ways that we would commonly think. The easiest way to reveal Himself would simply be to become visible, but God, in His perfect plan, knows the reasons why He cannot do this. God wants us to know Him, and grow closer to Him, and I think He will use many creative methods to do this.
For me, God knew what I needed in my moments of loneliness and He made Himself known to me in a way that I would know it was from Him and in a way that would comfort me. Sometimes God makes Himself known through the use of other people coming and encouraging us, or through finding out that someone paid a bill we were worried about. Maybe you were just needing a day of sunshine, and God cleared the rainclouds. God works in different ways depending on our situation, but I know that God wants us to see Him, even if that seeing is not with our eyes. Sounds hokey, I know, but human beings are doubtful of what we cannot see, so our invisible God will make Himself visible in the times He deems worthy. That is the truth I know.
I pray that when you need to see God, that you will, and I would love to hear your stories of when God revealed Himself to you. Stories like that are encouraging for all of us and help us all in times of need. Blessings, ladies!!