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Today’s Truth

The LORD is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry for help and saves them.

(Psalm 145:18-19, CSB)

Friend to Friend

Does it feel like the Lord is near to you? Do you feel like you can cry out to Him with the deepest longings, secret hopes, and unspoken sorrows buried within your heart?

Does it feel like God is watching you from afar, neglecting to hear your cry for help? Maybe you feel abandoned by God, as your circumstances rest heavily upon your shoulders.

No matter where you find yourself right now, the reality is that there are times in our lives when we question the nearness of God. We will all wonder whether His promises apply to us, particularly when we are in the middle of a trial.

I certainly have had my fair share of hard days, even years, wondering if God cared for me anymore. A counselor once told me I could write a book about the impact of trauma, abuse, and loss based on my experiences alone, and I told him, “No thanks, I’d rather write another story with a happy ending.” At the time, I didn’t have hope for God’s redemptive work. I was still looking for perfection on this side of heaven, earned from good behavior and whatever kind of fairy dust might land on me.

Well, a decade later, I’ve learned that hard doesn’t mean God’s abandonment or neglect or punishment. Hard defines life on earth, where suffering is humanity’s reality. As Christ followers, it’s a given not an exception (1 Peter 3:14-22 CSB).

There’s not a suffering quota we get to meet and then move on.

So what are we to do when we question God’s nearness and promises in the middle of all the hard? The answer might seem too trite, but I believe we should do the opposite of what we feel. Instead of pulling away, we need to look closer with a prayerful heart seeking God’s presence.

God’s silence is not evidence of His absence but rather an invitation to lean into His indefinable presence.

In order to respond to this invitation for nearness, we have to refocus and reprioritize what we need and where we’re looking. It requires a shift in our expectations and a willingness to see differently.

Rather than seeking gifts, we seek out the Giver. We let go of the solution while embracing our Savior. We embrace the healing by holding onto the hands of the Healer.

And when it’s too hard to do this by ourselves, we need to ask for help from someone who can lean into the Lord with us, whether that is a godly friend, mentor, counselor, or coach. Yes, at the moments when it feels like God is far away, clinging to His promises in the support of community will bring us nearer to Him.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for being near to me. God, thank you that when I call upon you, You hear me. Please help me wait on You and trust You even when Your answer may not be what I wanted or felt I needed. Cause me to trust You more, Lord, and be willing to draw nearer to You, both when things are hard and when life is good

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What is your tendency when life is hard and God feels silent? Who or what do you turn to for comfort? What does it look like for you to draw nearer to God?

More from the Girlfriends

Elisa Pulliam is a trauma-focused coach, author, podcaster, speaker, and founder of More to Be. She is passionate about helping women pursue a fresh encounter with God and align with His Word as well as equipping women to become mentors and coaches. Her free resource, PIVOT, will help you overcome the overwhelm and find hope again in God’s purposes. She delights in being Stephen’s wife for 23 years, mom of four treasures, and the opportunity to mentor girls while working with horses as she volunteers at her friend’s farm. Connect with Elisa at MoretoBe.com.

10 Responses to “The Lord Is Near”

  1. Julie says:

    Thank you for writing this! I needed to read this message today. Great advice for when I don’t know which way to turn. Thank you for the reminder. Amen!

  2. Marie says:

    THAT’S WHY I TELL ALL THOSE CALLED TO WORK WITH ME, LIGHTS OF THE WORLD, SALT OF THE EARTH. WHO KNOWS YOU BEST, YOUR MOMMA! REMEMBER THE ONE THAT PRIORITIZES YOU ABOVE ALL.

    SO CALL JESUS WHILE HE IS NEAR!!!!!! LOL

  3. Diane says:

    Thank you for this devotion! I’m currently going through a tough time. During this pandemic, I haven’t seen my grandkids and my daughter gave birth to a baby girl A week ago and not sure when I will get to meet her. I’m not able to visit my Dad who lives in an Assisted Living and having postmenopausal issues in my body. Being isolated from family and church, I cry out to my Heavenly Father, how much longer . . . . Lord help me to trust and wait on You!

  4. Robyn says:

    Elisa, you are so right about doing the opposite of what we feel like doing when God seems absent in life. I think at this point in the pandemic we are all feeling stressed and focusing on our problems more than we should be. I think we are like the Israelites in the wilderness, slogging away at everyday life, getting tired of the same ole thing day in and day out, wishing for something other than mana! When really we should be thankful for what we have, waiting for God’s timing, and taking advantage of the time all this has offered us to be more engaged with Him. Thank you for this beautiful devotion today, and reminding us that our relationship with God is number one in our lives, then all the rest will fall into place and we will have true peace. God bless you and keep you.

  5. Adelaide says:

    There was a time when I could only turn to God, there was no option what was done was done, but he heard me and proved to me that nothing is done until he decided it was done, he heard my prayers and he listened and he changed my circumstances. He said to me do not be afraid just believe, and God kept his promise to me of all people. He will do what he says just hang in there and believe

  6. Julie thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. To God be the glory for His timing!

  7. Yes, Marie, I agree! Call on the Lord! Always!

  8. Lord, we give you Diane. Thank you that she is bold and brave, calling out to You in her time of need. Lord, please meet her right where she is at and give her the support and fresh hope she needs in order to move forward. In the Strong Name of Jesus, Amen.

  9. Robin, I love that you brought forth your thoughts on being like the Israelites in the wilderness. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes God has to take us the “roundabout” way, as He took the Israelites to accomplish His purposes in us and through us.

  10. Oh Adelaide, what a beautiful testimony. I am so glad you shared. Yes, He keeps His promises!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8