I have mentioned before that I started listening to Christian Contemporary Radio more this year. In fact I have almost exclusively listened to this music this year. I began this as a personal experiment. I wanted to see what affect my music choices had on my attitude. Although the results are far from scientific, I see a difference in my thinking and the way I view the world.
One of the things I appreciate about my local station – WDJC 93.7 – are the questions they pose in the mornings. The questions almost always lead me to insightful reflections. Once I called in with an answer. A few of their questions lead me to write on The Morning Drive. This morning is one of those times. The question was:
“What do you do when God seems far away?”
I heard a couple of answers – one from a caller that Chris talked with and one Roxanne read from Facebook. (Roxanne and Chris are the morning show hosts.) Both responses were motivating in their own way. I turned off the radio and started composing an answer.
- First realize it was not God who moved. God is a very present help and always near. The reason God seems far away is that I walked away from Him.
- Since I walked away, I need to turn around, turn back, and start the journey to the Father.
- On this return or as I return, I need to see what caused me to walk away. Are there influences that are pulling me in the wrong direction? Walk away from those negative influences and leave them behind.
- Look for people and influences that will help me stay closer to God. Ask others to take the journey with me and hold each other accountable.
- Tell God your weaknesses and confess you sins against Him, He will welcome you back.
There was once a young man, the second son of a caring father. Like many second born, he longed to get out of the shadow of his big brother and out from under his father’s roof. He talked his father into letting him go. Really, he asked for his access to his trust fund and then ran away. He took his freedom to where the action was. Maybe he joined a band. What I do knw is that he had money and he had friends. He lived well off his trust fund, that is until the well went dry.
When the money stopped flowing, the “friends” disappeared. Our young man was soon, friendless, hungry, penniless, and homeless. He took work as a day-laborer hoping to make just enough cash by the end of the day to get a bite to eat. While working he thought of home and the family business. He wondered if he could go to work for his dad, maybe in the mailroom. It would be a better job than this.
By midday as the sun baked down and the smell of the hogs, their food, and more surrounded him, our young man decided to go home and ask his dad for a job. He would tell his dad, that he knew he had messed up and that he just wanted a job – any job.
I’ll let my friend tell the rest of the story,
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.'”
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found. ‘ So the party began.” (Luke 15:20-24 NLT)
What do I do when God seems far away? I turn back to Him and He welcomes me home!