When God seems far away

Turning to God during moments of doubt may at first seem contradictory. But it isn't. In fact, it's the way truly to resolve those doubts.

Katie , the daughter of a friend of mine, went to a playgroup for the first time recently. At the end of the day when her mother arrived to take her home, the normally happy and gregarious Katie was sitting in a corner of the room on her own. "Weren't you a little bit lonely, sitting there on your own?" her mother asked. "No," said Katie, barely able to restrain her tears, "I wasn't a little bit lonely, I was a big bit lonely."

Probably everyone understands in some way how Katie felt. Some of us may understand "a little bit" because we remember times when we felt isolated by a predicament. And some of us may understand "a big bit" because situations we find, or have found, ourselves in, leave us doubting our ability to feel God—making us think He is very remote from us. Sometimes this can even make us feel set apart from those we know and love best, unable to convey the despair or inadequacy we experience when our search for God seems to meet no response.

During such times when we have difficulty concentrating on anything except our own situation, it can be comforting and even reassuring to read about some of the people in the Bible who experienced similar feelings. For example, in Lamentations we read, "Mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me." And the Psalmist cries, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?"

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The Mother who's always there
April 8, 1991

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