Friday, February 23, 2018

When God Seems Distant

In the book, Sacred Reading, The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina, by Michael Casey, he brings out something that I think deserves some reflection.

He talks about times when God seems absent. There are times, I suppose when you start any new discipline, that spiritual growth comes quickly, and you feel it. But then there are times, often after doing the same discipline for some time, that spiritual growth doesn’t seem to come at all. It almost seems that God has moved on and has left you alone.

Aldous Huxley calls this phenomenon “induction” – the principal that “every positive begets its corresponding negative.” Casey writes, “Any striving after specific virtues is followed by an almost irresistible tendency to backslide.”

I don’t know if I agree with that exactly, but I know that in my own life my spiritual growth has been very cyclical. I experience highs of incredible growth and special closeness with God, followed by times of dryness and distance from God. I suppose all of you have experienced something similar to this.

Perhaps the positive in this is that this happens to everyone. Maybe it goes back to our sinful nature. Maybe any commitment toward God brings up an unconscious pulling away. Maybe it is a spiritual battle being fought, the enemy not willing to give up on us. Whatever it is, the key to moving on is persistence on our Bible Study, in our devotions, in our prayers, and in our disciplines.

God is there, even when you don’t feel him. Persist in moving toward him, and I bet you will feel him again…

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