Hey guys! When I wrote my last two posts, I felt very alone and abandoned by God. Nothing seemed to be going right and all I wanted to do was talk to my Father–but I couldn’t seem to figure out how. Fortunately, I’ve passed through that valley now, and I’m writing this post to tell all of you that no matter where you are or what you’re going through, God is there. He is with you, and He will never leave. If you feel like God left you, just be still and know that He is still there and be aware that He might just be trying to teach you something.
A couple days ago I started a YouVersion plan called “God, Where Are You!? With John Bevere.” There was a video linked on day 1, and if you have not watched it before then I would highly recommend doing so after you finish reading this post. Here is the link!
It brought me to tears, and I don’t mean my eyes just got watery and happened to drip a little. I mean I was downright crying my eyes out. I really felt that God had abandoned me. I knew deep down that He was still there, but it was awfully hard to rest in His presence. I didn’t understand what had happened because I was so faithfully seeking Him and then all of a sudden He just left me.
But then I watched another video that was part of that devotional, and all of a sudden everything made complete sense. It was like I had been stumbling in the dark trying to find the light switch and then God turned the lights on. The video was basically two parents talking about how great they are at parenting and everything, but they have a grown son who’s just a spoiled brat. He went to work but didn’t actually work; he instead watched tv shows and drank juice boxes. His parents pushed him around in a stroller, and it was like he had never grown up.
And that’s when I realized what God was doing. He was trying to grow my faith. What good is it if only trust Him when things are going my way, but get mad at Him when something goes wrong? That’s not a strong faith at all. I remembered from God’s Not Dead 2 (I really like those movies if you can’t tell) what the main character’s mom said to her when she was going through the trial: “The teacher’s always silent during the test.” The Bible says in Hebrews 5:12 this: “for by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” I felt really immature, because the way I saw it after watching that second video, I was pretty much a little child throwing a temper tantrum because God decided it was time to feed me solid food instead of bottle feeding me. He wanted to show me that I can have His peace and strength even when He feels distant.
I don’t think I ever posted anything about this, but if I did, then oh well you get to hear it again, lol. Several weeks ago God spoke to me very clearly and pointed out that I was worshiping for hype. I liked the feeling of being close to Him and I liked to be able to feel His presence. But He said to me that night several weeks ago that I needed to be still and simply know that He is God. He said, “I never told you to be still and feel that I am God, I told you to be still and know that I am God.” It was clear as crystal that that’s what He was saying, and ever since that day I have really taken Psalm 46:10 as a life verse.
I went to church camp a few weeks ago, and one of the devotionals that my leader led was about the Cherokee Legend of the Cherokee Rite of Passage. He gave everyone a copy of the legend, and even though I didn’t know it at the time, God allowed me to get that sheet of paper so that when I was going through that hard spot and watching those videos I could go back and read the legend. Here’s what the sheet of paper says:
Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s Rite of Passage?
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.
Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, be he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.
It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
We, too, are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us. Sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.
Just because you can’t see God, doesn’t mean He is not there. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.
God was giving me a test to show me that I had to grow spiritually. I had to, as Paul talks about, stop being bottle fed and instead eat the solid food. I had to grow up, and trust that God was there with me.
I realize now that God’s “absence” was actually an answer to one of my prayers. I had asked God to take me deeper in my faith, and that’s definitely what He did.
I was never forsaken, not even for a moment. God was with me the entire time. If I ever feel abandoned again, I will try to remember that there’s a lesson to be learned. God gives us trials to grow us, so that we don’t remain spiritual babies forever. I know that now, and I hope that you have found this post encouraging.
Thank you all for reading, and God bless! 🙂