Why does The Lord seem distant at those times when I need Him most?
Last night I felt discouraged in spirit and heavy of heart. Life has been hectic, and I know so many people who are suffering and struggling right now. My great-Aunt Anna is dying of an aggressive cancer. She doesn’t have much time left.
When I visit her, she often asks: “why is this happening?”
I’ve been trying to pray for strength for her, with trust in God that He is good and that He cares. But hidden beneath the prayers are that same question, “why, Lord?”
Why are all of these things happening to the people that I love? Where are you in all of this, Lord? I can’t see you, I can’t feel you. All that I see is suffering and struggling, and all that I feel right now is empty, alone and afraid. Why are you so far away?
This morning I spent about an hour in prayer, something I haven’t been able to do in awhile. When life gets hectic and troubling, my prayers become brief, urgent and sporadic. It was hard to break out of that mode of praying and just be with The Lord. My praises felt hollow and insincere at first. It seemed that I was kneeling to a distant God, waiting for Him to come near.
But as I continued to pray – confessing, giving thanks, singing a couple of hymns, reading His Word aloud and interceding for loved ones – my spirit lifted, and I knew The Lord’s peace “which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). I remembered all of the SHLC family members that I have prayed with at prayer meetings and Bible study, and I felt comforted. All of these things helped me shift my focus back to Christ, my Savior, who loves me so much that He came into the world to give His life for me, so that I can be with Him forever.
Christ, who is near!
There were no answers to my “why” questions, but still I was secure, resting in my Savior Jesus. By the end of my prayer time, I realized that He has always been there. He had been the one calling me and moving me to pray!
I thought I was the one waiting for The Lord to come near, but all along He had been waiting for me.
“The Lord is Near.” (Philippians 4:5)