There are moments in my life when God’s presence feels incredibly close and comforting. As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, I felt His presence intensely during a very challenging season of life. When I learned to praise HIm above the chaos of my life – His presence enveloped me. But, as I have continued to praise Him regularly over the last 13 years, there have been seasons when I have not been able to feel HIs presence as vividly. Those times used to scare me. I wondered, what happened? Why can’t I feel His presence? What’s changed? I often prayed verses from the Psalms like, “I lift my hands to you in prayer (and praise) I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.” (Psalm 143:6) I remember crying out a few times, “God, I am praising you. Where are you?”
Slowly, over the past 13 years I have learned that my experience of God’s presence ebbs and flows. There are times when I am on my knees worshipping and His presence overwhelms me. It’s as if He is so close I can barely breathe. But there are other times when I am praising Him and while it’s a great time of praise, He might just be silent. What I have come to realize is that as fragile human beings I don’t believe we can handle, intense experiences of God’s presence 24/7. I think if we had that we would become emotionally and physically exhausted. In heaven, we will have new bodies and we will be able to handle the continual pleasure of His overwhelming sovereign presence. Here on earth, I believe we are to enjoy and savor the moments when His presence is intimate. And during the times when we don’t feel His presence, celebrate the fact that we are craving His presence.
Now of course we must also examine our hearts for sin. Because sin makes us want to hide from God, so if we are the ones hiding we likely won’t experience the pleasure of HIs presence. But, if there is no sin and you just feel somewhat blah, your body might just be tired, or God may be inviting you to trust that He is there even though you don’t feel Him. Don’t be discouraged. Just keep continuing on in your journey of praise and realize that your experience of His intimate presence will ebb and flow. You might pray, Lord Jesus, I praise you that you are here even though I don’t feel your presence. I will choose to simply trust and relax, knowing that you haven’t abandoned me.”
I would love your thoughts. Leave a comment, I love hearing from you!