We've all at some point had the feeling that God wasn't there. Maybe it felt like He was distant and busy or that He just wasn't real. During times like this, we wonder what's the point in seeking Him when it seems like God doesn't want to be found.
God promises in His Word that He "will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). But then we try to reconcile that with Isaiah 59:2 which says, "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear."
Does God really leave us? Looking closer into this scripture in Isaiah, we realise one thing: It's not God that leaves and forsakes us but us who leave and forsake God. Remember that it's OUR iniquities and OUR sins that create the separation between us and God.
At one point we were the reckless son who wished to leave our Father's household and pursue personal pleasures over a relationship with God. And when we come back repentant and broken, God is the loving Father who awaits our return and runs to us when we are in sight.
When it feels like God isn't there, remember two things: We were the ones who left God, and that God never wanted us to leave. Because of this we know that God does not give up on us. He does not abandon us. God is a faithful God who has your best interest in mind. He wants to bless you and give you hope and a future.
The times it feels like God isn't there, it's not because God forsakes people, but because people forsake God. God was, is and will always be there for us, but sometimes people chose not to listen. That's the depravity of mankind.
The many times I felt God was distant, I would only later on realise how far from God I had come. Failures, concerns, worries and sin had drawn me away from the loving arms of the Father. But as we come to realise that we have ran away from God, He is more than willing to take us back when we turn back to Him. That's the beauty of repentance.
James 4:8 tells us, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
When God feels far away, the best response is to purse Him, not doubt Him. And as we draw near to God, He promises to draw near to us.