I regularly go through phases where my emotional interruptions get in the way of my spiritual health. Often depression, apathy, anxiety, discomfort or any combination of these has a tendency to block the communication between God and myself. The important thing for me to remember is it is not Him. God does not grow cold, maybe He will be less active but He is always there, it is a promise of His. Deuteronomy 31:6, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We can count on this, God never steps out of the lives of His beloved. Even when it seems like we are praying to nothing, like the songs we sing to Him are empty and unheard, and the petitions are unheard and unanswered. Unfortunately in my experience, and this also backed up by scripture, He does not answer every request. The mystery of which prayers go answered and which don’t is unknown and frankly I don’t want to know everything, sometimes it is just easier to trust. 1 John 5:14 says, “If we ask anything according to His will He hears us.” The complicated piece in this is trying to understand what fits in His will. Maybe some things may look like it and seem that they could be used for His glory, but we also have to remember Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts…” Some things just aren’t going to make sense to us and we have to learn how to be okay with this and know that He always has a plan for our benefit, Jeremiah 29:11.
When I am at my lowest and really feeling disconnected the hardest things to do are often the most beneficial. Simply put if we feel a disconnect from God then we need to do something that makes us feel connected. For some that is church or reading the bible, for me I need to get on my knees and talk to Him one on one, like talking to my Father. I need to praise and sing to Him by myself, write to Him or read things I have written about Him, or go outside in nature and look for His fingerprint. If none of this works one thing always does, evangelism. If I go out and genuinely tell someone about Jesus, I always find myself in a better mood, more connected and leaving with a sense of accomplishment and true joy. Something about sharing the loving message of the cross is so powerful.
For me I have found that having a plan to combat my disbelief, depression and strengthen my faith in the mist of these uncomfortable feelings is absolutely vital for my spiritual fitness. I fall down the hole often unfortunately, but it is much easier to climb out with the help of God. I have to remember that I am no longer defined by my afflictions, that I am a new person and even though things may rear their ugly head, I know He can remove them in His time. Find whatever it is that makes you feel most connected to God and use it next time you feel disconnected. We must be prepared for times like this or our faith may stumble and we may fall.