“Could God really love me enough to die for me? I’m so unworthy.”
I was sixteen years old and acutely aware of my own sinfulness. I’d grown up knowing that I was a sinner saved by grace, but somehow that year I wondered.
How could God possibly love me? How could He want to die for me?
As I battled the growing doubts, more troubles arrived—my body had been frail for a few years, but suddenly the undiagnosed Lyme disease started to wreak havoc in every area of my life and countless bodily systems.
I felt my world crumbling, and at the very time I needed God most, He felt distant. I didn’t know if it was His own choice or my doubt separating us, but one thing I knew: I was desperate to reach Him.
I didn’t know it then, but my desperation for God showed just how much I missed Him. It was a good thing, knowing that I couldn’t handle the separation any longer.
When God Feels Distant
Dear heart, I don’t know why God allows seasons of distance. I do know that if you’re experiencing distance, it doesn’t brand you as a bad Christian. An overwhelming majority of the Psalms were written by a man who felt God had rejected him. Sometimes it was because of his sin, sometimes he had no idea why the God he loved was no longer near.
In those seasons, crying out to God is sometimes our last desire. But perhaps the dry seasons are there to remind us how much we need God.
Before I doubted my worth to God, I had just taken His love for granted.
When the wall grew between us. I pounded and screamed and couldn’t hear His response. Was He ignoring me?
When our emotions are crazy or numbed by depression, we can’t always feel God’s nearness.
I certainly couldn’t. But during that season, I learned to depend on the truth of His love, rather than my emotions.
Loved And Worthy-In Him
Of course I was unworthy. But I had let my own self-image penetrate my thoughts. I began to believe that God must reject me just as I was rejecting myself.
Slowly, God taught me truths about who I was in Him.
He showed me that even if I were to reach my own ideal of perfection, it wouldn’t sanctify me enough for Heaven.
I needed to stop looking for righteousness in myself. I could never attain holiness on my own. The Bible says,
For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Romans 3:22a-25b
Once you acknowledge your brokenness, there is no need to remain there. 1 John 1:9 tells us,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Yes, I was indeed flawed beyond what I could repair. But God had redeemed me! I didn’t need to wallow in my past guilt or even my present mistakes.
Because of Christ, God has wiped away our sin.
And I didn’t need to worry about God loving my unworthiness again. God had died for me while I was yet a sinner. (Romans 5:8) And if God had given His own son for me, I could trust His sovereignty over my life. (Romans 8:32)
When God feels distant, silent, or far away, He wants us to learn to trust Him.
Trust He still loves you no matter your sin, struggle, or scars, because of Christ.
Trust God’s wisdom. He really does know best. Your life is in good hands. He has you.
Trust His plan. We need to relinquish our dreams for our life and trust that no matter the trials, God’s love lasts. There will be heartbreak and pain, but suffering is His tool to shape our hearts and share His goodness to the world.
Trust God’s strength. You can come to Him for rescue. When sin grips you, you don’t have to succumb.
Trust His redemption. If you have accepted His salvation, He truly has forgiven you of all your sins. You don’t have to be perfect on your own.
Trust God’s word. He has given you everything you need for godliness. Don’t hide from Scripture. It contains hard truths and honest teaching, but it is life to your soul.
Come to your Father when He feels distant. Is your heart cold? Does your conscience continually berate you? Have you sinned?
God may feel distant, but He has not forsaken you.
He cannot forsake one who is truly His, who truly obeys Him with their heart. Jesus was forsaken for you. He was crushed for me. The wrath we deserved was already poured out.
I know it is hard, darling. But the suffering comes out of the loving heart of the Father who gave up His son for you. He has led you to this painful place. You’re not required to minimize the pain, but rather allow God to bear it for you.
If you have been walking in sin, perhaps He is drawing you back to Him. Maybe He desires you to release props—friends, financial security, health—and depend only on Him. Perhaps He is reaching a lost soul through your humble acceptance of the trial.
Whatever wilderness we roam, God loves us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:1-2)
His distance is only a mirage, for He is simply showing you a new angle of His presence-the one that asks you to cling to His love alone.
Lean on Him hard, pray with all your might, and someday soon you will again feel His nearness. And you will know that His love for you never wavered.
The name Bethany means “bright city on a hill.” Bethany hopes her writing becomes just that—words of hope and beauty a bright gathering place and words of longing a signpost to Heaven’s future glories. Her calling dawned gradually as she fought chronic illness. Struggling to see the glitter in the gloomy March landscape, she found lacing words together to form a coherent meaning exhilarating. Lately she holes up to write stories, poems, and articles, or study storycraft. She write about the beauty and hope and hardship of suffering at https://wildrosejournal.com/