When God Feels Far Away
"God ... is not far from each one of us."1
"I attend church regularly," one person said to me, "but I don't necessarily believe in God. He seems so distant."
The difficulty for many of us, even when we believe in God, is feeling close to him and experiencing his presence and love. When we can't, as Cecil Osborne points out, it is our receptivity that is at fault. God is constantly broadcasting his love, power and blessings to all of us but when can’t feel these, it's the barriers in our life that block God's love getting through.
The barriers can be unresolved negative emotions such as anger, resentment, hurt, grief, fear, feelings of inadequacy, guilt and so on. Another barrier can be caused by any impaired relationship with a loved one or friend, by unconfessed sin, living out of harmony with God's will, or by not making the effort to daily spend time with God in prayer and listening to his Word. When we starve our souls, it feels as if God is far away.
Another reason God can seem far away is because of a lack of sufficient human love, connection, and meaningful fellowship with fellow Christians. We were created for relationships—with God and people. Both are essential for emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. As John, the beloved disciple of Jesus put it, "If we love one another, God's love is perfected or made complete in us."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whenever I feel that You are distant, help me to realize that I'm the one who has moved, not You. Help me to see any barrier/s in me and lead me to the help I need to resolve these. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Paul the Apostle (Acts 17:27, NIV).
2. 1 John 4:12.