If God is Powerful, Why Can’t I Feel It?
- Maria Cheshire Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2017 6 Feb
Some things you don’t want to feel—sticky layers of sunscreen, your stomach dropping in sudden realization, etc. But God… of course we want to feel His presence.
Like our trusty road trip sidekick, we want God right there in the passenger seat next to us. Visible. Tangible. Sometimes God does feel this close, and sometimes he feels light years away.
God tells us, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Feeling disconnected from God is not a sign of his powerlessness or vacation from our lives; it is a signal to us that we need to pause and reflect on why we feel disconnected. God is always there, but it is up to us to maintain the connection.
Ask yourself these questions:
Is my life moving too fast?
We miss out on God when every second of our day is planned, when anxiety courses through our veins, and our thoughts are consumed by a constantly growing to-do list. Where is there space for God?
A pastor friend of mine strives to live life with “margins,” or extra wiggle-room in his schedule to allow time for reflection and responding to situations that spontaneously arise. When we live a life without margins, God can become another item on our to-do list, another thing to be crammed into our day.
Create a space for silence. Stillness. God is waiting for you there. “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8).
Am I practicing gratitude?
Researcher and author Brené Brown discovered a strong link between gratitude and joy. She found that joyful people made gratitude an intentional, daily practice, and that joyfulness stems from gratitude (The Gifts of Imperfection, 2010). We often remember to be thankful when things are going our way, but it is just as important to find thankfulness in times of difficulty.
Author Shauna Niequist says, “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” When I practice gratitude, I can actually feel my attitude shift from hostility towards calm, from resentment towards love. Love always brings us closer to God.
Even in challenging situations, try searching for glimmers of light. Suddenly God might not feel so far away. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Am I on the right path?
We might feel disconnected from God if we are not fulfilling our calling. When we use our gifts to produce meaningful work, or follow the dream the Lord has put on our hearts, we feel a sense of fulfillment and alignment with God. We are living out our calling.
When we feel restless, devalued, or like we are not reaching our full potential, we may not be living out our calling.
“What is my calling?” might be the trickiest question of them all, and adult responsibilities may constrain our options. But maybe it’s also simple—like finally putting aside fear and sharing your musical talents with the church. Or maybe you want to spend more time with your children but are not able to quit your job and become a stay-at-home parent. Set a goal to eat lunch with your child at school once a month, or instate a family movie night once a week. Even taking small steps can bring you closer to living out God’s calling in your life.
Listen to your yearnings. Give them value. “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1).
Our God often speaks in whispers. A probing question from a friend, the same book recommendation from multiple sources, the soft, persistent yearning of spirit. We have to find time to listen, to reflect, and be grateful for what we already have, and to take brave steps toward what He has planned for our lives. God is always there: steady, powerful, waiting. Can you feel it?
Please pray with me:
Almighty God, give me the grace to listen to your call. Help me slow down. Help me recognize the blessings already in my life. I am ready to receive your call, to feel you in my life. Please guide me. Amen.
Maria Cheshire teaches and coaches in Bristow, Virginia. She enjoys running, yoga, food, art and is currently writing her first novel.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: February 6, 2017