How can God be known through our missing Him?

This quote from a sermon by Frederick Buechner brought to mind a few questions:

  1. How can we know God through missing Him?
  2. In what ways does God speak through His absence?
  3. How can we awaken people to realize that they what they are missing is God?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts…

Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.

It is not objective proof of God’s existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle that we are really after. And that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.


Great questions.

A. If we have known Him, then in His ‘absence’, we come to understand, at a minimum, all He has done for us. Like a mother who leaves for a time, a little one may come to realize how much they miss her habits, her singing, the way she runs her had over their hair, the things that are special to them that are so much a part of their lives that they don’t even notice they are there until they are gone. (“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”)
B. If we have never known Him, I agree with Frederick Buechner, that we have “this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness” that is like salt driving us to seek water. An acquaintance once asked about love, he did not believe there really was such a thing, but he couldn’t be comfortable with that belief, it drove him to ask questions, to seek answers, to search for the One Who is Love. I pray that one day he will find Him.

[Rom 1:20 KJV] 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead;
If we are too hardened to listen to the silence, the emptiness within us, He speaks to us continually in His creation, which declares that there is One Who Is eternal, powerful, and greater than us.

Perhaps it would follow, then, that we ask them questions about their lack of inner peace and His world.
Something like:
If we are just chemicals, why do we feel so empty?
How could this world come into being? What started the “Big Bang”.

Wow! I just put two and two together and now see an opening for some who are dear to me.
Thanks for asking!


@Sal Great to hear! May the Lord Jesus bless your conversation and open the eyes / heart of the person with whom you are speaking :slight_smile: