“As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him? Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again-my Savior and my God!” — Psalm 42:1–2, 5 NLT
Do You Feel Distant From God
David is said to be a man after God’s own heart. That’s quite a nickname. I look at the Psalms he wrote and I love how David pours his heart out to the Lord. He let the Lord speak through him. God used him mightily, but David was not perfect. We know about the big mistakes David made: adultery, murder- but did David ever get in a ‘funk’? I am sure he did because we all do. David specifically talks about feeling distant from God:
“As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him?” Psalm 42:1–2 NLT
If a man after God’s own heart can find himself feeling distant from the Lord, then certainly we will at some point in our lives. The more crucial question is, “How do I get out of the funk, once I am here?”
I’m not here because I desire to be here. I am here because of my own action, or sometimes, inaction. It’s no one’s fault but my own. I haven’t carved out the time to spend with my Savior. I haven’t pursued Him. I have been complacent. I have placed the distance there myself.
I hate it.
But how do I get out?
I’m thirsty and I don’t even realize it. I’m starving myself but stupidly can’t figure out why or how. Do you do that? Find yourself feeling distant from God but don’t know why? Time after time, I end up here, even after vowing not to be.
Oh my flesh, you are my enemy. My selfish, selfish nature, you have won again. But just as the night came, so will the day. The cycle continues, the battle with my sin. The fight with distance.
I keep dimming the lights off myself, gradually, slowly- until I forget that I am no longer standing in full light. I lose my way, even if only for a short time, or seemingly not by much. But if I am not following Him absolutely, then I am following something else. Mostly, just following my laziness, selfish, and comfortable desires.
But God did not leave me in darkness. This distance is imagined.
All it takes is a choice. Once, to choose Him over something else. That is when the light grows and the darkness fades. It doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking, earth-shattering decision. But that is what I need: a decision. A small step toward Him.
I am so thirsty that once I get a sip of Him, He will pull me in and I will long for more. It happens each time! The cycle: the distance, the funk, the restoration. All He wants from me is me. And once I surrender my flesh and choose Him, He is already there. Waiting. Standing at the stream, offering me Life. There was no distance because He has always been there.
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again- my Savior and my God!” Psalm 42:5
Are you standing in the darkness, parched for Him? Have you let little choices pull you from Him? Have you had a feeling of distance from God?
God, flip the switch! I ask You to shine Your light on the darkness, snap me out of it. I want to follow You because You are Truth, because it is right, and that’s who I am meant to be, Yours. I long for You, I need You, and You are Life. Help me to remember that there really is no distance between us, but that You are always there.
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