I know many people who claim to feel or to have felt the presence of God in their lives. Some seem to feel Him all the time, and others struggle to feel Him at all. Alas, I fall into the second group.
Please understand. I know I have felt the presence of God. I am convinced that He has used me at various times to minister to others. There is absolutely no way I could have accomplished some of the things for which I have been given credit on my own. In fact, there are times I was as amazed as those around me at what I said or did. Still, most of the time, I feel completely alone in a spiritual sense.
I am certain others feel that spiritual aloneness. Reportedly, even Mother Teresa lamented that much of her life she could not feel Christ with her. Given Mother Teresa’s life, my concerns about feeling alone are of no real consequence, except to me.
I know the Holy Spirit is with me always. I know Christ is there and will not leave me. I know God Loves me and has a plan for me. However, that knowledge is cold comfort. It is like knowing the earth is spinning at the rate of nearly 1,000 miles an hour. I know it, but I cannot feel it, which is probably a good thing.
The physical laws of the universe keep you and me from flying off into space due to the earth’s rotation. However, no such laws operate in the spiritual world. The Holy Spirit may never leave me, but in a way, I can leave the Holy Spirit.
I can convince myself that those times God used me or touched me were not real. God did not work through me. It was my imagination. It was really a matter of intuition or remembering something I’d heard or read. With this kind of logic, I can wall off the part of me that still feels the Holy Spirit until it is little more than a distant memory.
My comments are not theoretical. I know this can happen. I can remember how I felt when I first came to Christ. I can also remember how I allowed the real world to interfere in my relationship with Him. I remember how little I made Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life, and how cold I was to Them. I also remember how hard it was to claw my way back out of that hole and to trust again.
I am not, and will never be, a Mother Teresa. I do not have the faith or the courage. That does not mean I want to lose what I have. Accordingly, I have taken steps to help me avoid the pitfalls of my overly analytical mind and lack of emotion.
Over the years, I have found that people do a number of things to help stay emotionally connected to the Trinity. Some teach or work with children. Anyone with a modicum of feeling can see God in the eyes and hearts of children.
Others preach or study the Word. Many feel immersing themselves in the Word keeps them connected to their feelings. Others do good deeds, help the homeless, the fallen and the needy.
Some sing. Praising God in song helps some people break through their fears and reluctance to feel. That is the path I have chosen.
I am not a great singer. However, if you put me in the middle of a group of singers, backed up by a great orchestra, I can at least avoid embarrassing myself. To me, singing is a way of breaking down the walls between my naturally cynical mind and the innocence that still dwells somewhere in my soul.
Singing allows me to praise God without thinking. It allows me to feel the power of that praise without analyzing it. Singing, at least in church, is a form of worship and praise. It is a way to connect one’s feelings to the worship experience.
If you feel alone and not in touch with God, find a way to connect again. Singing in a choir may not be your thing, but working in the children’s ministry or volunteering in some other way may work for you. Actually reading your bible or reading what others have written about their experiences may be your path to a better relationship with God. The idea is to do something.
A relationship with God is not like a relationship with another person. God will never abandon you. You cannot drive Him away. You cannot run so far He cannot find you. You can, however, wall yourself off from Him and be miserable. It is your choice.