Have you ever felt so empty and lost within your faith? You know you are a child of God but you feel a void- a void you try to fill with the things of the world- things that give you happiness just for a moment?
I can testify to that. A month ago I went through a phase of huge discouragement, losing a relationship I really cared about. My school grades just weren’t where they should have been. After being away from home for almost a year I was desperate to fly back, but knew I couldn’t. I also knew my relationship with God just wasn’t where it should have been either. At this point, I found myself weeping alone, in despair and discouragement. I decided that I would try living a life without God. I began to pursue ungodly relationships and attended social activities which I knew I had no business being a part of. I had eventually given up on God, I no longer felt His presence and truly felt alone.
One Saturday evening, I decided to attend the bar as usual. As I prepared for bed that Sunday morning at approximately 2am after returning from the bar, I began to speak to the Spirit of God. I remember admitting to God that I felt empty and that no amount of socializing would leave me fulfilled. I decided that I would go to service in the morning. A good friend of mine whom I usually catch a ride to church with had intended on attending the 9am service. I had agreed and purposely set my alarm to wake me up an hour before I had to leave. Unfortunately, I woke up with a headache due to my alcohol consumption the previous night. I turned the alarm off and went back to bed.
God is truly amazing, although I had planned on sleeping the rest of the day, I woke up at 9am and randomly decided to give this friend a call to see if he had left to service. To my surprise he had over slept and missed the first service, so he decided to go to the second one which started at 11am. After our conversation over the phone, I attempted to go back to bed. As I tried to sleep, I felt bothered and burdened and was unable to get back to sleep so I made a decision to attend the 11am service. This particular individual was irritated and upset that he had missed the first service. I personally, was still probably hungover and did not feel the urge to go church. I felt that I had walked so far from God that here was no return. As we made our way to service, there was no conversation, just silence as each individual indulged in their own problems.
As worship began I asked God one thing, to feel his presence again, to be focused on nothing else but Him. In that moment I couldn’t articulate what was in my heart. So, I began to mutter in an unknown tongue. As I continued, I began to feel an unusual release to freely lift my hands in worship. Moments after I felt a hand touch my right shoulder (the one I had surgery on). I turned around in the midst of worship as a man kindly asked if he could pray for me, at this rate I was desperate for a move of God, I agreed. As he began to pray for me, speaking in tongues I began to cry, it was as if the Holy Spirit said loud and clear, I had never left you, I was here all along, but you had searched the wrong places.
“I had never left you, I was here all along, but you had searched the wrong places.”
As he continued to pray an unusual peace began to fill my heart. Throughout the worship experience I wept uncontrollably. That very moment I knew that God was up to something. Even in my rebellious behavior, God in his mercy used a stranger to remind me that I was loved, even in the state of confusion I was reminded that he had never left me.
This experience was a huge God moment. On the verge of giving up, God truly reached out to me. There is nothing I could have done to deserve the Lords kindness. When people hear Christianity they immediately think perfect people or Gods chosen, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Jesus came to die for sinners, people like me. Very imperfect people only made perfect through endless love of Christ, the one and true King, the one who was and is to come. God is amazing and his timing is perfect, He knows exactly what we need even before we ask. Christianity is not easy. Neither did the Bible say it was going to be easy. Christianity is grounded in faith, defined as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not (Hebrews 11:1). This means even when we don’t see what God is doing in our lives or don’t feel his presence, we have to walk knowing that all is well, praying for something and not seeing the answer right away, we have to be able to say: Lord I don’t see it, but I trust you.
Waiting on God for a miracle which hasn’t yet manifested can be difficult but we must be able to say, Lord thank you that there is nothing too hard for you. Let us walk by faith and not by sight. Yes, many identify Christianity as a religion, but I identify it as an intimate relationship with the creator. I believe that Christianity is the only belief where the creator is more in love with his creation than they are with Him. That’s how awesome our God is.