In Friday’s post, I talked about my salvation experience when I asked Jesus to become the Lord and Savior of my life. I talked about how His presence was so palpable, it was as if I could touch it. I also mentioned that is not always the case.
There was a time in my life when His presence was not strong like that. Actually, it was difficult to feel Him there at all. I felt like my prayers were hitting the ceiling. When I prayed, I didn’t seem to get an answer or response. It was a very lonely, desolate time in my life.
I knew God had not left me. His Word promises me in Hebrews 13:5 that He “will never leave me nor forsake me.” (paraphrased) The truth is, though, I was steeped in sin at the time.
Looking back, I knew I was in sin. I justified. I rationalized. I felt the quiet conviction of the Holy Spirit telling me to turn away, and still I continued down the same path.
I continued to pray. I continued with Bible study. I continued to go to church. I continued to do all those things we as “good Christians” are supposed to do, and yet, my life was filled with sin, and I had never felt so far away from God. Feel His Presence? I was having trouble trusting He was still there. Of course, He was.
He never left me. He never stopped pursuing me. He never quit waiting for me to turn from my sin and repent so that our relationship could renew itself.
I’m so thankful He loves me enough to never let me go. To allow me to feel His gentle hand of correction when I need it. To convict me when I have wronged another. To demand I ask their forgiveness even though that is sometimes a very difficult thing to do. To extend forgiveness even though I’d rather not because I have been forgiven more than I could ever forgive.
This is not to say that when the “dry seasons” come that we are always in sin. I only know that the times in my life when I have felt the most alone and desolate were the times when I was not walking in His ways. At those times, while His Presence was not palpable, I know He was still there, and I am ever so thankful.