Judson's Legacy

Where are you, God?

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I open my eyes as widely as possible.
But I can’t see you.
I trust you’re there.
But I can’t see you.

I open my ears and listen carefully.
But I can’t hear you.
I trust you’re speaking.
But I can’t hear you.

I reach out my hand to touch you.
But I can’t feel you.
I trust you’re near.
But I can’t feel you.

Where are you, God?

My eyes are blurred by tears.
My ears deafened by my cries.
My hands numb with pain.
I cannot see, hear, or feel you,
But you’ve promised never to leave.

I trust you are with me.

But please come closer, dear God.
Allow me to see your goodness anew.
Let your truth speak freshly to my heart.
Help me to feel your presence once more.

Please come closer, dear God.
Let me see, hear, and touch you again.

This is a poem I wrote during my blogging hiatus. 

God has felt so distant, and though I know he promises to be present and I trust he is near, I am desperate to have him touch some of the vacant pockets of my soul.  He feels non-responsive to my cries, unmoved by my pain.  I am restless to see and hear him, to feel his protection.  In some ways, I don’t’ even know what that would actually look like in my life—I’m just very aware of the desperation in my heart.  

But instead, in my increasing woundedness, it feels like God is hiding.

I have found these are hard things to admit for fear that authentic expressions of feeling God’s absence may be perceived as permanent devastation to faith.

Yet, there have been many faithful people throughout the centuries who have felt as though God is absent, and there is strong Biblical tradition of authentic confusion and anguish before God, most prominently from David, the Psalmist (i.e. Psalm 77).  But we also see that although David felt rejected and forgotten by God— as though God’s love had been removed forever—he maintained a posture of surrender in his heart and determined to remember God’s clear presence in his life from previous experiences to sustain him through his season of feeling forgotten. 

Where are you, God?

As my heart hungers for God to come near, I heed the model of David, keeping my eyes wide open, my ears alert, and my hands outstretched while recalling God’s clear faithfulness to me in the past.

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Does it appear God seems to hide during times we feel we need him most? 

Categories: Faith, Pain

15 Responses to "Where are you, God?"

  1. Tammy says:

    Yes, I often feel that way… but I have also found in my walk through life that often it’s been because I was holding on to something. My pain, my own will etc. When I was able to let go and let God…I then was able to feel and hear him again. It’s not easy… I’m not always good at it…It’s probably one of the things I work on the most.

  2. Jen says:

    Yes, In my pain with burying two children in one year and then dealing with consequences of a surviving one pound baby with devastating life issues…I wake up every day and wonder why he’s so far away and why this is the life I’ve been given. I could have written your post myself. Word for word. Hugs, Jen

  3. Freya Remmer says:

    Your post makes me think of CS Lewis’ A GRIEF OBSERVED, and how he describes banging on God’s door in the midst of his grief, and it’s as if God has just slammed the door shut. Lewis did say later (down the road of his grief) that the door was still shut, but it didn’t seem any longer that there was a slamming of the door… and that it was as if God was saying, "Peace, be still. You don’t understand". Those words have been some that I’ve held on to… "Peace, be still. [I] don’t understand".

    It will be so nice some day to really get the big picture, you know!

  4. Samanta says:

    Christina… ! Your writing is just amazing! When we feel alone and we have no answers from Above that’s exactly how we feel.
    Thank you for giving us the pleasure of reading your blog again.

  5. Dorci says:

    I’ve felt that way for the better part of the last 7 years. And at the very last second, when I feel like I can’t go on, He shows Himself, just enough. I know He’s there, but the pain gets in the way. I guess that’s the faith-building aspect of my relationship with Him.

  6. Laura says:

    . I wrote a song about this very thing and I truly believe the Lord wants us to be honest with how we feel at times, when we don’t feel that He is there. Still we pray that He will be.

    Here’s the words to the song. They are hardcore right to the soul.

    Whispering your name as I stand on the sidewalk, "Are you there", Are you there"? The mist of loneliness creeping, confusion all around. "Do you care, Do you care"? I cried until my skin was rain, my heart wore sorrowful full of pain, again and again and again.

    Chorus
    Blaming myself when I don’t feel you. Wondering what I did wrong today. I am so far from being worthy. Just to hear your voice someway.

    Protection and guidance is what I ask from you and all of my loved ones, to carry them through. Help me to trust that things are in your hands and all will be made well in your master plan. I cried until my skin was rain, my heart wore sorrowful full of pain, again and again and again.

    Chorus above.

  7. Betsy Parker says:

    Hello Christina,

    You are in good company. I always think of St. Paul on the road to Damascus, but David is also impressive. You are not alone. For me, getting away from the city and going into the mountains to contemplate God’s great gift to man (nature) seems to help renew and sustain my belief.

    Happy New Year! To all things there is a season. Perhaps God in His infinite wisdom will present a new challenge for you. You are ready. Just keep the prayers and faithfulness going. There is always going to be change.

    Your poem is beautiful.

  8. He is with you. As hard as it is and as desperate as you may feel he is there. He is carrying you in his loving embrace and trying his best to protect you. I still to this day have times when I just want to scream to God Why??? Why me??? Why Us??? Why My Child??? and I certainly do ask WHY!! were you not there? Even though I know he was. I guess what I am trying to say is that, I know exactly what you mean. So please never feel discouraged your feelings are valid to say the least and know I am always here if only to lend an electronic ear and shoulder.. From one Mommy of an angel to another..

    Much Love to You,
    Jamie Hackett

  9. Each of your comments hit different places of my heart, but most of all, I thank each of you for understanding and engaging. Jen: My heart broke as I read of your brokenness. Knowing my own pain and loss I cannot begin to imagine yours. Thank you for sharing in my grief as you have endured your own. Freya: I LOVED your C.S. Lewis reference and it totally spoke to my heart and experience. Thank you! Dorci: I went to your blog for the first time and was so blessed! Thank you for sharing in my life journey…I look forward to sharing in yours. Laura: Wow! The lyrics to your song are AMAZING! You are incredibly gifted and the beauty of your expression really spoke to me! Betsy: Nature always seems to help bring perspective to my heart too!

  10. Sarah says:

    This post speaks volumes to me, thank you for sharing your poem and your heart. I especially appreciate, "I have found these are hard things to admit for fear that authentic expressions of feeling Godâ??s absence may be perceived as permanent devastation to faith." I feel like it’s not really acceptable to voice a sadness or a longing for God in Christian society… like my salvation will be questioned.

  11. Jenny says:

    Christina, what an amazing way to put in words a cry from your soul. I don’t pretend to know the depth of your pain…from losing your boy. I have however experienced the inability to sense God nearby (after I lost my dad). And I cried out too, like you are doing (it was written in my journal – not so eloquently as your words, but a cry that I needed Him…but could not feel, see or hear him). I was desperate, I had lost my Dad and the pain was so great that I couldn’t FEEL anymore…and I NEEDED my Dad…my heavenly Dad to come because I couldn’t find him.

    One evening at church soon after, my pastor’s wife looked over at me, and said "I feel like I’m supposed to say, ‘His arms extended.’" And she reached for me with her arms open and I sobbed in her arms-for a long time. And she just held me. And I felt God’s comfort in a new way…through the arms of my friend. That moment was for me, a glimpse of His extravagant love. Though I had been unable to find Him in all the places I knew to look…and I had searched hard and with a frantic desperation…He reached me in a new way…and it felt like He’d traveled across the world of my pain to extend his comfort, and say, "I know…and I love you, and I am here."

    Praying you will have a fresh encounter, from a new place you don’t expect…and that you will find yourself wrapped in His embrace, feeling the warmth of His breath on your neck as He whispers in your ear, "I am with you."

  12. Christina~
    I think we all have felt that way from time to time.
    HE is always here for us…we just need to be the ones seeking HIM.When things go bad we tend to forget that HE is always here with us…always.You write the most beautiful things..you truly do.
    Love you so much~
    Jean and Gary

  13. Jim Heida says:

    I too feel alone I know it is me and not God

  14. Thank you lord, My father in heaven thank you

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