Have you ever felt like God is distant from you? Like he’s gone silent? You’re seeking but he is nowhere to be found? There are times in our lives when we see the fingerprints of God on EVERYTHING, and then there are times when we feel alone, forsaken, forgotten. Times when God seems to speak so clearly, then his voice is gone. One day you’re guided, and the next you feel as if you’re wandering alone and desperately failing.
Where does God go in these times? He’s stepped away. We feel the distance. Is it because he’s too busy for us or mad at us? Are we being punished? Is that why we haven’t been hearing from God?
Those are tough questions. Questions I know we all sometimes ask and I believe one weekend while I was decorating, God gave me a few answers.
I love to decorate. In my head I’m like a Joanna Gaines with my strategic placement of books and baskets and green potted plants. I have a large black bookshelf made of 16 square blocks. One day I was redecorating the bookshelf with my favorite treasures. My favorite books, my photos, my metal letters that spell BIG LIFE. After about an hour of decorating that large bookshelf, I stepped back and looked at it.
I STEPPED BACK.
To see how I was doing.
Sometimes when you’re so close to your work you can’t see how it’s progressing, so you have to take a step back and get a new perspective. I wasn’t stepping away because I was angry, or even finished … I wanted to admire my work!
And I stood there and thought “wow, that looks good!” But I first had to step back.
An artist does the same thing. They paint, then they step back to get perspective before continuing their work. They step back.
My friend, God sometimes steps back to admire his work in you. He goes silent so he can see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown. It’s not because he’s done with you. Philippians 1:6 says “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” He is going to complete the work he started in you and you’re just going to keep getting better.
God’s distance and silence are sometimes a sign of progress in your life. The teacher is always silent during the test. Is she ready for the next level of living? Let me step back and see! Let me admire my work in one of my finest creations! He is proud of how far you’ve come and he is looking at you to see how he can help you even more. God is getting ready to HELP you, not leave you.
I believe we can apply this lesson in so many areas of our lives. For those on a journey to becoming healthy, goodness it can be discouraging can’t it? We can’t see the minimal daily progress. But could it be because we’re so close to it? Do we need to take a step back and gain a new perspective to see how far we’ve really come? You have changed! You are better! You are making healthier choices. And the work in you is not done yet. You’re on your way.
And so it is with our children. We’re in the throws of raising kids and when you spend every single day with them, you can miss how far they’ve really come. It’s easy for me to meet your children and see the good in them … but as their Mama all you see are their faults. TAKE A STEP BACK. Step it back girl. Back, back, back it up. Give yourself some distance. Watch them from a distance and see how much they’ve grown. See how they ARE learning. You’ll be amazed what you see if you just take a step back and watch.
My son is in the Army now, thousands of miles away in South Korea. I have no choice but to watch from a distance. With this distance, do you know what I see that I always missed when he was living in my home … an incredible young man. A mighty warrior putting on his uniform every day. But I had to let him go.
Some of you need to take a step back from your spouse. You’ve been sharing the same breathing space for so long that now the very sound of him breathing is like nails on a chalkboard to you. Girl, take a step back. You’ve allowed your blessings to become a burden. A little distance will help you see this clearly.
Sometimes we’re just too close to the problem. Too personally connected to see the progress. And just as I had to take a step back from that bookshelf to take it all in and admire my work before continuing, we need to do the same in our own lives. Where do you need to get a bigger perspective in your life? Where do you need to step back and see the progress so you’re empowered to continue the grind?
And don’t forget, God may be taking a step back to admire YOU today. To see how far his girl has come. To see how he can better help you on your journey. So if you don’t hear from him or if you feel a distance, don’t worry … he’s just taking it all in and loving on ya. He’s not done with you yet, he’s still working on you, but I’m pretty sure he’s saying he loves what he sees so far.
Yes he does … he loves what he sees in you. He loves your potential. He loves your spirit. He loves the inner workings of your heart and mind. And you can know with complete confidence he’s working on your behalf to bring out the very best in you.