Do you ever have those seasons of life where you wake up one day and realize that it has been far too long since you spent quality time with God? I just recently got out of one of those seasons. It was one of those moments where I had grown weary and frustrated not only with those around me, but with myself as well. And as I arrived at my last straw, feeling so out of place and lost as to who I really was, I realized that it had been a scarily long time since I had been in the presence of God. Once I came to this realization, I took time to abide in God’s presence and it was as though the sun had broken through the cloudiness of my thoughts and feelings. As though my life had found its center once more.
It was not the first, and unfortunately I can only assume that it will not be the last, time I go through one of those seasons. The reality is that we are messed up human beings who allow ourselves to get crowded, overwhelmed and distracted by far lesser things than the God we serve. Though we know we desperately need the presence of God to sustain us in our very lives it is often the first thing we spurn and set aside when life gets too “busy.”
The reality is that we are messed up human beings
who allow ourselves to get crowded, overwhelmed and
distracted by far lesser things than the God we serve.
During my time with God I was reflecting on how I had left the presence of God yet again and how foolish I felt because of my recent actions. Yet, while I was reflecting, God spoke to me and brought a thought to mind. I have this whole presence thing messed up.
Sometimes the presence of God starts to resemble the white noise machine in the office where I work. This machine runs day and night, 24/7, 365 days a year. It serves a very real purpose, providing needed privacy for those in meetings and private conversation. It is an important piece in the work that gets done in our office. Ironically though no one notices that it is even there. Though it is a constant presence, the fact that it is always there allows it to be so easily forgotten and drowned out.
The presence of God is the same way. It is not that God’s presence ever disappears or leaves, or even that you or I have left the presence of God, but it is almost as if we have tuned it out, forgetting that it was even there in the first place. Perhaps in our moments of weakness we are not leaving God’s presence in our lives and world, but instead we are choosing to ignore its reality.
We have a tendency to think that our sins, failures, missteps and mistakes are greater than God. That in some way when we screw up God vanishes from our lives. But the love of God is so much greater than our failures. The apostle Paul tells us, in Romans 8, that nothing can separate us from God. And if God’s love is greater than our failures, don’t you think that His presence would be greater than them as well?
We need to stop giving so much power and control over to our failures and start giving that control and power back over to God and His rule over our lives. Instead of claiming that we have abandoned God or that God has abandoned us in the midst of our failures, maybe we should ask that we be reawakened to His presence in our lives. When the noise of the world seems to drown everything out, instead of thinking God has gone, perhaps we should stop and listen for His ever-present voice. Instead of treating God’s presence like so much white noise that gets lost in the hubbub of the world, maybe we should begin treating it like the gift and the lifeline it really is.
When the noise of the world seems to drown everything out,
instead of thinking God has gone, perhaps we should
stop and listen for His ever-present voice.
God’s presence is with you right now in this moment, I really don’t think that is a question. The question is, will you choose to recognize He is there?