Because if He truly loved you, you'd feel His presence, right? You'd know He was there working in your life. You wouldn't feel this endless funk.
I know how you're feeling. Trust me. I totally get it. I've been there myself.
And when you're there, it's easier to listen to the lies in your head that say "God has abandoned you," than it is to consider the notion that perhaps God's answer is for you to wait just a little bit longer. For His timing. For His better answer.
Yet waiting is painful.
You're so tired of the wait, aren't you?
Dear friend, the truth is God has not abandoned you. He is there with you this very moment. But in order to feel His presence, your focus needs to change.
If you are only thinking about what you don't have, how He hasn't helped you, or how miserably hopeless your situation is, you'll miss out on the love God is pouring over your life right now.
Let's explore this for a minute.
How do you show your love to your children?
Do you give them everything they ask for, right when they ask for it? Certainly not. Sometimes you know there is a better option for them than what they're asking for. But maybe circumstances aren't fitting for that option at this particular time.
So your children don't get what they want. Does that mean you don't love them? Does it mean you aren't gifting them in other ways?
No. You hug them. You tell them you love them. At the store, you surprise them by having them each pick out a special treat. Maybe you let them stay up later than usual on a particular evening. Or perhaps you give them the extra loving gift of your time.
God is no different in showering us with His love. Sometimes His answers, His love, and His gifts come in packages our human eyes and hearts don't always recognize. Especially when we're too busy having our own grown up fit about why we aren't getting what we've asked our Heavenly Father for.
Now, let's consider unemployment.
Many of you know my family went through a 3 year season of unemployment. Talk about a major financial drain. We blew through every dime we had to our name just to survive. There were days I honestly didn't think we'd ever get our life back. God did eventually answer our prayers and He was no doubt glorified in doing so.
He was so good to us during that difficult time though. We may not have had our prayers answered the way we wanted the very moment we asked, but every day He revealed (and continues to reveal) His love for us in tangible ways.
- In the smiles and giggles from our daughters (How can we be SO blessed?)
- In the money that would show up right when we needed it.
- In the loving support from friends in our community.
- In the strength to get through a half marathon (God carried me - I know it!)
- In the courage to start a Christian faith blog (hello, persecution?) and to write a book (only God could have put those words together!)
- In the protection over our health during the year our family went without health insurance.
- In my husband's endless determination to do something...anything... to provide for our family.
- In the surprise free vacation we were able to take to visit family in CA last August.
- In the privilege of His forgiveness, each new day, and prayer.
And so so so much more…
If we had only been focused on the bad, we would have missed seeing the abundant gifts God was blessing us with each day.
My husband is back to work and we are rebuilding our life slowly, but surely. Still, it has been frustrating, this financial hardship. I often wonder when it will end. When our bank account will be whole again. When God will give us the answer. A winning lottery ticket, perhaps? Wouldn't that be nice!
The thing is, through three years of unemployment, my only hope was in God. He took care of us. Every detail. Not a single thing did we need to worry about. God had it all under control. All He wanted was a deeper relationship with us.
And a deepened relationship did indeed occur, although it took intentional effort on our part. We knew that a relationship not nurtured would never grow.
So we leaned into God and we trusted Him. We studied His word. We met Him in quiet prayer every single morning. We responded to Him with obedience - even when what He was asking scared the you know what out of us.
But the joy that comes from a deep relationship with God… Oh the joy!
Change your focus, dear one.
You've given enough emotional attention to today's problems. Step away from them and look a different direction. Look around you. In the everyday details of life. God has special gifts for you everywhere.
You'll find them. You'll find Him. He never left your side. He's been there all along.