There’s a weather phenomenon that I’ve become familiar with since moving to Texas: sunny and cold. To a native Floridian like myself it seems quite strange that it could be sunny and yet the surrounding air feel cold at the same time. These two things should not go together. The sun is warm. It produces heat and makes things warm. How could the sun be brightly shining and yet the air around me be cold? Is the sun somehow defective?
There’s a spiritual phenomenon that I’ve become familiar with during my life: sunny and cold. To a life-long Christian like myself it seems quite strange to have fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and yet for them to feel distant at the same time. These two things should not go together. God indwells me. God is near me. How can God indwell me and yet feel distant? Is God somehow defective?
In reality I know that the sun is not defective; it is producing as much heat as it always has. Yet this does not make me feel any warmer.
In reality I know that God is not distant from me; He is as close as He always has been. Yet this does not make Him feel any closer.
If I put on a coat I will feel warmer, but this will not change the fact that the air around me feels cold.
If I spend time praying, reading Scripture, worshiping with others, and fellowshiping with others I will feel encouraged and persevere in my faith, but this will not change the fact that God feels distant.
I know that it is only a matter of time before winter ceases and the air around me feels warm once again. I must persevere through the winter if I want to feel it again.
I know that it is only a matter of time before winter ceases and God feels near to me once again. I must persevere through the winter if I want to feel it again.
When winter comes around again, and you are huddled around the dying fire of your faith, clinging desperately to every scrap of warmth, wondering why things are not the way they seem like they should be, take note of those around you because they have passed the test. The spiritual winters in our lives, those times when God feels distant and we struggle with our faith, are tests not only for those of us who are in the midst them, but also for our Christian brethren who see us in the midst of them.
The sun does not cease to shine during winter.
God does not cease to be near us during our winters.
We should not cease to be near our Christian brethren in their winters. They are not expecting us to bring about spring. They just don’t want to be alone during the winter. Do not merely pray for them, but huddle with them around their dying fire, however low it may be. God has not abandoned either of you and will see both of you through. Spring will come, and it will be evident then that God is in you because you have loved as God loves.