I don’t know how many of you believe in God, but for those of you who do, have you ever felt closer to Him on some days, and less so on others?
I don’t know why it seems to go in waves, but for me it feels that way. I can’t think of any other way to say it, except to say that some nights when I’m in the middle of my prayers, just before I drift off to sleep, it’s as though I’m curled up in the bend of a giant arm, quietly confessing, quietly hoping, quietly wondering, quietly releasing. That arm is His arm, and those are the nights when close doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Then there are nights when I feel like I’m nearing the edge of a precipice – teetering, almost – and my saying prayers mostly out of duty. It’s like I can feel the gaze of someone who knows I can do better, and who expects it of me, but I can’t bring myself to look at Him or talk with much sincerity. But I continue, even though I’m sure it’s coming out as more of a mumble. I don’t feel close, and in fact I feel a bit ashamed of something – something I can’t identify. It’s as though I suddenly have no right to pray, even though I know I do. It’s the strangest thing. Sometimes I just feel there’s a chasm, a great divide – even though I know He isn’t far away at all.
The feeling of distance is likely a function of being human. Knowing my struggles, knowing which ones get the better of me, knowing that I try to handle them on my own far too often, and not leaning in His direction often enough. I hate this feeling of separation, and I wonder why it feels like it’s testing me. After all, I try to be good, I read from the same two daily devotion books each night and I try to identify things to be thankful for each day. But some days the space between us feels debilitating. It leaves me feeling somewhat directionless, but a lot hopeful that the pendulum will swing back the other way before too long.
Which I guess brings me to what I’m thankful for: the pendulum that inevitably shifts. It may take only a few hours or days, or it may take months. I don’t know how long it’s been this time, but knowing that I’ve been here once before and that the closeness is on its way – even if it’s moving at a snail’s pace – is comforting. And isn’t comfort what He’s all about?