All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
“Desert Song” (Hillsong)
Yes. Gospel truth there. No matter what season we are in, God is still God. And we do have a reason to sing and worship Him.
This is not a season I am happy about or content with. My heart is crying after the absence of God. He is distant and far off. It is a struggle to maintain a relationship with someone this far away. Many evenings I want to just give up and give in to the doubts that are bigger than my shards of hope. I want to just believe the questions in my head and forget the facts in my heart. It’s easier.
But I have not been called to an easy life. Ugh. Far from it. This season is no different. In fact, it feels like a replay from about 3 ½ years ago when all of life fell in around me. That was a time when death and loss seemed to be as near as my breath on the cold window pane. Close enough to touch, close enough to feel.
The darkness in my soul screams for the light of Christ to break into the empty caverns and fill the hollow spaces. I am desperate to feel something—anything. Anything but this sorrow, fear, and loss.
Today marks the day that five months ago James went to be with Jesus. And today is 25 short days from when Stephen went to be with Jesus. One friend gone because of the darkness in another, and the other gone from the darkness in his own soul. Oh, God, where are You when our hopeless hearts decide we are done living, breathing, being here? Where are You, when we can’t see You anymore? Where are You when the deep darkness of our souls drowns us? Where, God, where?
I understand the darkness, the fear, the questions, the sorrow that weighs us down. But I wonder if the perceived absence of God isn’t far worse than all of these put together. Could it be that this very space in our lives is what causes us to try to end it all? When the great chasm in our lives is devoid of God, do we attempt to fill it with other things, relationships? And when the gaping hole still screams at us to fill it up with something, we can’t take it anymore and forever silence the cries in our head and the tears on our faces?
My heart is dying for Jesus to show up just in time to bring life from death in our souls. For the deepest aches to hear words of hope and salvation from our Savior King. For all the people whose cavern is missing something—Someone, to find Jesus the great Treasure that fits the hole and fills it up. Just in time.
And for all of us who are attempting to live our lives with this great felt absence of Jesus, I pray He shows up. Eventually. Just in time for us too. I hope that as we continue to live lives like He is present, He will again make an appearance. May we believe in the bottom of our hearts this promise from The Chronicles of Narnia, “When the King comes, he will set everything right again.” Though all around us whispers how gone Jesus is, my prayer for all of us is that we will hear the voice of Jesus who said He is with us for all time, will never leave us, and loves us with an everlasting love. That is reality compared to the felt perception that He has left us.
And, God, I hope we can be real. Real enough to get help, see hope, and live. Choose to be present in what feels like Your absence. Choose to love You through the questions and the darkness. Choose to live.