Why does God feel so distant in a time of desperation?

Hi everyone,

This seems like a harsh question, but sadly, it is the reality I am facing right now.

Aside from the pandemic, I am also facing a crisis involving my family. Needless to say, times are hard right now (extra hard).

As I noticed myself getting overwhelmed by the minute, I thought to myself, “It’s time to get real with God.” So I did.

I came to my bedroom, got down on my knees and prayed as hard as I could with tears streaming down my face like a little baby. The pain I was feeling was enough to make it feel as if someone was ripping my heart out. When the tears started coming, I asked The Lord, “Why can’t You just come down and hug me for just this one moment? Don’t You want to be here for me?” I made it clear to Him that I needed Him, bad. I then started begging Him to at least appear in my dreams or give me some kind of sign, letting me know that everything is going to be okay soon.

This is the relationship I have with Jesus. He knows what I’m feeling before I can even say a word, so I let it all out- real, raw truth.

Although being completely vulnerable to Jesus makes me feel closest to Him, tonight I felt distanced.

Why is it that God feels so distant when I need Him most? Has anyone ever felt this way before?

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Olivia, I am deeply moved by your need and am praying for you. Please accept this HUG from your brother in Christ as i seek wisdom from our Father to share with His daughter.

Father please speak at the very point of this pressing need that has come upon your child. I ask on her behalf and am here to stand in the gap for her. Send the comfort of you Holy Spirit to envelope her in the midst of this trial. You word gives us promise and they are all yes and amen. Dispatch your ministering spirits and share with her your peace in Jesus name amen!!! Draw her to your heart Father

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@OJMCKEE I don’t know the answer to “why” God feels distant in our most desperate moments sometimes, but I know that I have felt the same way. As Christians, the best resource I know of for making sense of these times is that Jesus Himself suffered on the cross for us and was abandoned even by His closest friends. We do not worship a God who is distant from our suffering, but a God who knows what it is like to suffer.

When King David felt abandoned by God in his suffering, he remembered the great things God had done in the past. As Christians, the cross is the greatest symbol of God’s love for us. And when God feels very distant, I try to remember and hold in my mind a God who touched the leper, who loved the outcast and the sinner, who never sinned, and yet suffered so that I could have life. Even if I cannot feel God, I cling to that hope - to that God who loved me enough to suffer for me.

Psalms 77:7-12 - “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

This story of Jurgen Boltmann, who was drafted into the German army at 16 years old right before the end of the war and imprisoned in Scotland after the war, is inspiring. The women in the Scottish prison did not mistreat him, but gave him cookies and a Bible. And there he found God’s love and the hope of a Savior who would suffer with him. I also very much like Philip Yancey’s book “Where is God when it hurts?”

The love and peace of our precious Savior keep you during this time - much love in Christ :slight_smile:

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Good morning Olivia, I pray you rested well and He is nearer today than He was yesterday as we draw nigh to Him. May His presence and peace fill you right now.
Sean’s post spoke to me and let me share a link to a hero of mine in the darkest hours of the 20th Century.

[(https://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&client=ms-android-sprint-us-revc&source=android-browser&q=corrie+ten+boom#wptab=s:H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgVuLUz9U3MDatSMp9xOjMLfDyxz1hKatJa05eYzTh4grOyC93zSvJLKkUUuNig7JkuHilELo0GKS4uRBcnl1M3AGpRcX5eYGl-SWpi1jFkvOLijJTFUpS8xSS8vNzFQpB4sUAo0evzXoAAAA)]

May He as well speak to you as you read her struggles and faith

His word will encourage as we walk by faith not by sight.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

I truly do understand, as a Leukemia transplant patient being quarenteened for lack of an immune system feeling abandoned by everyone I truly felt closer to Him as He was all I had at the time.

Still seeking asking, knocking.
Mike

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Thank you for your honesty, sister. I think we’ve all been there, asking the question, “Where was God when . . .” A disciple will not be greater than his Master. Our Lord Himself said, “My God, why have you abandoned me”. We may not know why this side of eternity, but that there will be challenges to our faith is a fact attested by the Apostle James, and he gives us the tools to overcome these tests in chapter one. "Consider it all a joy . . . "

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Absolutely I have been there. There is a light that will arise in darkness. The darkness may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

Sometimes there is a felt presence. And we can walk in that, feeling Him there. Other times there is a known presences. We walk by faith and not be sight (or feelings for that matter). It is when we look back that we see His Hand at work in our lives.

I often think of the Scripture, “I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose the ability to foresee change in the future. Change is going to come. God works to set all things right.

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I think most of us have been there Olivia. I know I have. Sometimes, in the past when He seemed so distant, I would just give up and stop trying to get closer to Him in my time of need. As the years went by and I would be in despair over something I would cry out to God again. Each time I was more persistent and prayed more and more. As I grew closer to our Father I would begin to see how He was slowly helping me. It was usually not an instant fix, but slow growing. It seems to me, from my experience, that maybe God was waiting for me to come to Him, and holding back ever so slightly to encourage me to come closer and closer to him, like a toddler just learning to walk, but a toddler who cannot see, because I didn’t always feel God’s presence as I kept trying to get closer to Him. I don’t know if that is true for everyone, but that is how it feels now looking back on those hard time.

Olivia, I am so sorry that you are having this terrible time. I hope you are encouraged that we are all lifting you up in prayer and that God is indeed there with you, even if you can’t feel it. Keep moving toward him and you will finally feel His presence. I pray His blessings on you and your family in this time of crisis. We love you sister. :heart::heart::heart:

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Dear Ms. Olivia,

You just posted something the entire world is asking in many different ways " Where is my Lord?" . And what a moment when I was just going to sleep and checking on connect to find your post.

Our Lord hears you my sister. Just because this world is in the middle of a pandemic does not mean our personal worlds and all our trouble stops. It is just another trouble on top of our troubles.

You said something so amazing that encouraged me with what I am dealing with as now .

You just said it all, hook line, and sinker.

He knows you our sister. And our Lord is ministering to you right now with angels you can not even imagine at all.

You humbled yourself on your knees. My sister. Jesus said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 9 ’ My grace is sufficiant for you , for my power is made perfect in weakness,’

You posted a truth in your heart very few will ever post. And may we all learn something from you our Lord has given us this day.

Where is God? Even our Lord sufferred this moment to say in Matthew 27:46. ’ And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying … Eli eli, lema sabachthani… ’ My God my God, why have you forsaken me? ’

Jesus knew all as God on earth, and everything to live a perfect life. He knew He was going to be with His Father, yet he cried in anquish as a human, like we all do! Why would the scripture include this? Our Father included this for everyone of us who just asked the same question you just did.

Our Lord went on to rob the grave and rise made new for all our sins and inequities. The very fact you had strength to write this was not because you were standing, but because you were on your knees.

You have no idea Ms. Olivia, the testamony you have just given, and the strength in our Lord you have shown us all in your despair. May we all be humbled and remember Emanual. ’ God with us’

Thank you for your prayers Mr. Mike. You always have such a blessing in our Lord. I think Mr. Dean touched on our Lords suffering as well.

This is beautiful mr Joshua. 2 Corinthains 5:7.

1 Thessalonians 5:16. And that hits the nail on the head for all of us Ms Carrie! ’ Pray without ceasing.’

Oh my sister, I pray many people view your post and see the truth of a heart born of our Lord.

Where is God? He is in this most beautiful post from your heart and every person who posted back to understand your struggle as it is with all of us at some time. . And He is with you in every moment. Jesus is with you always Ms. Olivia. (Emanual. God with us.)

Blessings,
~Sanah~

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Olivia, when I saw your name and your post, my mind went to someone on Connect with the same first name and has a site called “Looking Upward” which intends to draw believers closer to Jesus. Just moments ago I read her latest article which I would recommend that you and all in Connect could benefit from. Here is the link; please read it:

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@OJMCKEE Hey Olivia, oh yes, I’ve been in that place before, and my heart goes out to you as you face these struggles and the questions of God’s closeness through them. I love the words of encouragement, scriptures and resources people have suggested. I just wanted to offer you a mini testimony of how God broke through his apparent silence for me in the hope it may encourage you a little :slightly_smiling_face:.

A number of years ago, a situation occurred in my life that felt like it tore my heart in two as well as my world and my security. I remember the gut wrenching prayers that I brought to God, and the quiet and loneliness I felt in return. Reading the Bible and prayer seemed to return in silence. I ended up finding two worship songs with Biblical words that spoke into my life at that moment. I literally played them over and over again for about two weeks. I sang the words repeatedly and found God step in through my worship. They were words of singing through the sorrow and dancing through the darkness (Psalm 30:11). I don’t think I could have made the choice to rejoice in the Lord if I wasn’t inspired by these worship songs. They were songs that enabled me to declare scripture out loud and claim it as a truth for my life. I found God’s overwhelming comfort pour into my heart, paving the way for healing.

In the silence, when God feels distant, cling to the truth of who he is. Thankfully his nature isn’t dependent on how we feel at any given time. Cling to the truth of the Bible and you may find worship through music as well as worship through reading and prayer helps open a different perspective. I’ll be praying for you in this difficult time.

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Dear Olivia,

@OJMCKEE Like others have shared, I too have been there and felt the cold distance and the feeling that God had abandoned me. I’m so thankful for His grace to love me through those times and not to leave me there forever. That said, we all experience things differently and only the Holy Spirit can truly comfort our souls at a deep level. I pray you get that deep comfort (and hug) from the Almighty like you’ve requested. I felt that “hug” once in my life although not at the time I had asked for it. I would just leave this verse with you from Song of Solomon 4:16 “Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.” The garden needed both the cold north wind as well as the warm south wind in order for the spices to flow out in blessing to others and fill the air with a beautiful odor and for the Lord of that garden to receive the good fruit. I don’t know if this speaks to you like it spoke to me in the past, but I hope you know the Lord loves you through it all and one day you will give thanks even for the terrible times of your life. May the Lord strengthen your soul as you press on. He is not far from us even when we cannot feel his presence. Like @artownsend shared, I was greatly helped in the past by listening to one particular worship song over and over again. It helped release the pressure and gave me hope at the same time. May your heart find rest, Olivia, and I pray for restoration and healing for the situation you’re in.

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Thank you all so very much. Each comment was very touching and motivating. I thoroughly read through each one and have applied your encouragement to my every day life. As I pushed through these past couple days, things have began to start looking up. Your prayers have worked and are healing my family through His Mighty Name. What an awesome God we serve. May He bless you all, tremendously. :heart:

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@OJMCKEE, my prayer is that this will help you.:pray::hugs:
When the mind is renewed
The emotions are regulated
And the will is subdued.
Let’s start with the mind.
In Romans chapter 8 verse 14. for all who are being led by the spirit of God these are sons of God. (The holy spirit is always manifesting his presence with us, sometimes he does this in a positive way as in verse 16 witnessing to our spirit but sometimes he does this in the opposite way by drawing back just a little. But please sister make no mistake his presence is still there, for he will never leave us nor forsake us.)15 for you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out Abba Father ( when you went to your knees and wept for your savior, this was your response to him calling you to himself. Someone said to me a long time ago that I looked for God in the whirlwind but he was to be found in the stillness of silence. I’m suggesting to you that the hug you we’re craving was already being wrapped around you as you were led to pray.)16 the spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God ( in the same way as you were being led to pray this was the Holy Spirit witnessing to you in your spirit that you belong to Jesus.)17 and if children heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, since indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. ( This next part is a little pointy headed as my friend says. Paul was writing his epistle to the Romans with a pastor’s heart for they were enduring great suffering and were in some cases questioning how can I be a Christian and be suffering like this isn’t my life supposed to be better?)18 for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us (and here we come to the best part of all that the glory that is to be revealed in US and to us as we share in the glory with Jesus and rule and reign with him as the children of God (sorry for the run-on sentence) my point is this the larger our view of what is waiting for us in this next life ruling and reigning with Jesus the easier it will be to endure the suffering that he lays before us.
Here is a poem that I ran across a couple of years ago it speaks to the sovereignty of God in our lives.
Love divine has seen and counted all the tears it caused to fall
And the storm that love appointed was its choicest gift of all.
as you renew your mind about the truth of God’s persistent close caring love for you that continually draws you to him in your most desperate times, then your emotions will come under that renewing and your will will be subdued to the glory of God and your ultimate Glory as a child of God in the next life.
I really hope that this helps in some way,
Your brother in Christ,
Rod

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@rpage Rod, thank you for your heartfelt words. I am deeply moved. What struck me the most was when you mentioned you were looking for God in the whirlwind and found Him in the stillness of silence. I was so desperate for the Lord the night I was hurting the most, not knowing that He has already responded. It took a couple days after that night to realize, in the still of silence, that God heard my cry, and He indeed answered my prayers. I didn’t feel His presence on the night I cried out to Him, but I surely felt it that day. What a Mighty God we serve.

God bless you!

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Amen and Amen

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Olivia,

I just want to say that I do not think that this question seems harsh at all. It is exactly that desperate need of Christ that we should pursue in our lives, do not let that go, pursue it more and more. Whether the situation is bad or good, our need for Christ and pursuit of closeness in our relationship with Him, should be our ultimate priority.
We see examples throughout the Bible of people whom we look to as examples to follow: Job, Moses, David, Paul, Peter, the list goes on. But what did all of these people have in common? They were all human. One day when we meet them, we will share with them the joy of being saved for the exact same reason…the grace and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They had troubles too, they had doubts, they cried out to God in times of trouble and sometimes felt as if they did not understand what was happening as well. This is exactly what we should pursue. That even when we don’t fully understand, we still pursue Christ and talk to Him and pour our hearts out to Him.
You are correct, sometimes God feels distant. I believe the best answer for this is that we are fighting an invisible war. We are fighting against a force of evil that wishes us to feel alone, and as if Christ does not care. Anytime trouble comes along, we feel that fear, as if we are facing these troubles by ourselves, but that is pure deception. God is always there, He is always with us, and while at times He may allow things into our lives that are painful…He uses that for our good. We must trust Him every day. Remember 1 Peter 5:8, “your adversary the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
In those moments when satan sees trouble come into our lives, one of his first tactics is to try and convince us that God does not care, or that He is mad at us, or that He is far from us…L I E S. All lies. It is those times that Christ is calling to us, “COME TO ME, COME ON, COME TO ME NOW!!
He is always there with you Olivia. Consider Ephesians 6:10-20, put on the full armor of God and prepare for battle, because satan is looking for anything he can use to attack you. But the good news? We are not fighting a winning fight…we are fighting a fight that is already won.
So, when God feels distant, cry out to Him and pray and get in His word. Get your armor on and trust in Christ, because satan has no power that can stand against our Savior.
I hope that this helps Olivia, and I hope that Christ leads you to the answer you need for this issue. Be strong and trust in Christ, He is always with us, even when it feels like He isn’t. God bless you and thank you.

Matthew

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