What To Do When You Can’t Sense God

Some things are probably left buried. Except they have a tendency to rise from the dead. I got the “brilliant” idea to check my progress and revisit the last months of 2013 when everything changed. Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I read the first three chapters of A Ronin’s Journey, the book project I’m working on now.

Those three chapters contain the immediate aftermath of the death of my godson. When I looked up, the unshed tears were blurring my vision. I was emotionally drained, three months in thirty minutes. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best idea. I had picked a scab and it started to bleed again.

It threw me out of whack as the memories flooded back and bowled me over. I had wanted to remember the root of it all and I got it in spades. The agnosticism, tragedy, introspection, more funerals than I care to count, criminal record, a life spiralling out of control and failure.

Waking up the next morning, I felt like there was a divide inside me. An emptiness, God on the fringes barely noticeable. Think of the sun on a thick, cloudy day, the light is there but the source isn’t as evident. I remembering hearing that this happens sometimes, and taking a principle Jesus told his disciples, I remembered what he had done in the past.

I began by searching my notes from 2014, like the Beatitude notes, when I went through the 19 Mercies from the Ragamuffin Gospel, and the sixteen page Gospel Epic I explored “How Much Does God Love Me?” I began to feel better, the gap was starting to close. Maybe I could even write again?

No. The divide wasn’t quite gone yet

I searched a favorite site, GotQuestions.org, asking about spiritual emptiness. First, for any born-again Christian, it’s a feeling but will never be a fact. Every follower of Christ is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Why I was feeling it, I don’t know.

The answer included four steps to help.

  1. Desire to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. So I took a walk and prayed for just that.
  2. Confess anything I did wrong and ask for forgiveness for anything known or unknown.
  3. Present every area of my life to God for control. I made another lap of the plant, going through my mental checklist. What would God have me do at work, home, on the blog, with friends, and at church?
  4. I moved on, accepting the promises of the Holy Spirit, and asking according to His will.

Whatever caused it, whatever the reason, all I know is I got God “back” after going through the process over the week. He encourages us to look for and ask repeatedly. By it, we learn reliance on Him. That empty feeling was horrible and a reminder of how much I need God. I don’t want to go through that again.

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