Maybe you’ve been there… on those days when God seems distant.
Perhaps we’ve retreated from God’s presence, due to guilt and shame. Or perhaps we feel God has retreated from us, because God must either:
A. Not care
B. Not know what we’re going through
C. Not want our mess in the midst of God’s Holiness
D. All of the above
Left on my own, I tend to pick “D.”
But what if there were another option?
Other options are found throughout Scripture, but the author of Hebrews puts it succinctly:
“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Heb 4:14–16 NLT)
It turns out that God does care: enough to send a Son to close the distance between us. It also turns out that God does know what we’re going through. Jesus faced all the same testings we do, and he understands our weaknesses. And as the writer suggests, God does want us in his presence. Wasn’t that the point of Jesus’ mission on earth… to restore the broken relationship between God and humans?
I think it’s time for a different test question. When God seems distant, do you:
A. Hold firmly
B. Come boldly
C. Receive mercy
D. Find grace
E. All of the above
With Jesus in the picture, we have a whole new range of options. Isn’t it just like him to re-write the test question?
When God seems distant, holding firmly is the first step of a journey that helps us find the grace to “help us when we need it the most.” If you find yourself in a season of long distance with God, hold firmly… help is on the way!
How do you “hold firmly?” What words of encouragement could you offer to someone who is trying to “hold firmly?”