great divide photography- Justin L. DotyIt’s all about the cross.* (period, end of sentence) 

I forget that sometimes and think it is about me… what I have done, am doing. Or I fool myself into believing  that somehow I can:

  • come based on my own merit – I mean, I have been good, given to those in need, not gossiped and had my daily quiet time.  I have a lot of stars on my spiritual chart.
  • get cleanup to be worthy of coming to God, just in case He misses the smudges of sin peeking out from my polished exterior
  • or am such a mess that I slink away and don’t come near to God…feeling unworthy, embarrassed or even ashamed at the ugly in my life.

Can you relate?  Do you ever get caught in the “It depends on me” trap?

Oh my friends, I have been there, am still there too often than I would like, and I have the “try harder T-shirt” in every color and size.

Silly us…

  • we think God’s love and delight in us depends on us. (it doesn’t!)
  • we think we have to be worthy to approach the throne of grace, at all- let alone with confidence!  (Heb. 4:14-16)

When it REALLY has nothing to do with us!

cross- julia blanchard photoIt is all about the cross…

We are invited into the presence of God because of the Cross of Christ- what Jesus accomplished, not us!

And nothing can separate us from the love of God – He loves us glorious messes because He created us and we are His!!

Our invitation can’t be revoked!

God Love – Your Invitation-  is guaranteed and final, finished, completely taken care of!!

God’s love for you and for me is everlasting!  (He says so!)

So why do I feel distant from God, so separated, so alone…sometimes?

Or maybe it is more honest to say, “Why does God feel distant sometimes? Where is God when I need, hurt, struggle, am lonely, disappointed..?”

In my best moments, I remember the truth- God didn’t “go anywhere,”  I pulled away.

Have you done that too?

  • We are the ones who separate ourselves from the God’s presence.
  • We take a step back, just a small one, in a moment of hurt or disappointment… angry and confused at what God has allowed in our life.
  • Ashamed we aren’t “handling the struggles better.” (what ever that means!)

A bit like the toddler who fears she is in trouble for getting into the cookie jar, or coloring on the walls.

We separate ourselves:

  • first with sin & disobedience
  • then with indifference, busyness, fear of not being acceptable…

we slink back, we separate.

And still God beckons… gently inviting us… Come.

It isn’t about you or me or anything we have done or not done…

stone-187560_640It is all about the cross!

  • at the foot of the cross we repent and believe
  • at the empty tomb we receive

Jesus knew the end of the story as he walked up Calvary road. Jesus knew what the cross would accomplish.

Jesus endured Good Friday because of Resurrection Sunday.

It is all about the Cross of Christ and what was accomplished there…For you, for me…glorious messes that we are!

Jesus knew what His death on the cross would accomplish.

God’s Invitation, forever guaranteed, never expiring, nothing can change it Invitation to boldly approach the throne of Grace, every day, anytime  no matter what…

Like the toddler who is confident in her mother’s love.

An invitation to receive forgiveness – without any to do list, spiritual gold stars or payment- and to plunk down, confident in who we are as God’s beloved, and stay at the foot of the Throne and soak in the never ending love of God.

God is waiting, the choice is ours.

Back to that choice thing again! What keeps you from choosing to go to God no matter what? When do you see yourself slinking back a bit or trying to earn the Invitation to come? What is it like when you come with the confidence of a child who knows she is loved?

Please share your thoughts below.  I would love to have a conversation with you about this.  And Please share this with anyone who needs to be reminded she is God’s girl, loved through and through no matter what!

*photo by: Justin Great Divide Photography:  Chapel Cross, Mt. of the Holy Cross, Golden Grain Cross, Ash Wednesday Cross

**photo by:  Julia Blanchard, Ireland

 

4 Responses to “Do you ever feel distant from God?”

  1. Jen

    I have walked away so many times… Seperated and this I feel this longing this imbalance and I go to God and then I feel peace again till the next time I shy away, grow disappointed or don’t think to turn to him. Through the tools and words that Susie has shared with me I am in the process of doing better, thinking more about that fact that i need to see myself as God’s girl. How ever messy and disorganized I feel in that moment… Still His…. His creation .. And remember that that is enough.

    Reply
    • Susie Miller

      Jen,
      we all walk away… in Him we find Grace upon Grace. I think God is like moms in that we railways welcome our kiddos back into our arms no matter what. Just glad they returned. I believe this is true about God – over and over again.
      Grace to you… kind words of grace.

      Oh, and remember… no matter what kind of mess we are, God delights in us! and this makes me smile! because I am a hot mess!

      Reply
  2. Linda

    I struggle with knowing what is mine to do and what is God’s to do. It manifests as willfulness, looks like arrogance, this need to be responsible, to achieve, to serve, to lead, to be fair, to be and do right.

    God’s will or my will. How to discern it isn’t vanity or, worse, an excuse for action or inaction?

    And, if I am created in God’s image and am His beloved daughter, wouldn’t He want me to exercise my judgment, think for myself? My earthly father encouraged me to stand tall, be confident, pursue my dreams. Would God want any less for and from me?

    In business I use a technique called Management by Exception. You lay the groundwork with policies and procedures, leaving only the exceptions to the rules to manage. My father laid the groundwork for my expectations as I grew and my decisions were guided by those expectations.

    As a management tool, it works so long as the policies and procedures are thoughtful and pertinent. In life, it works, too; but life doesn’t consistently follow the rules. Exceptions can seem to be the rule, rather than the other way around. And sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which.

    That is when I need to be sure God is on my mind and in my heart. And, all the time I need to know that I am following the right rules–to love the Lord with all my being and to love my nieghbor as myself.

    I wish I could say I always know the difference between the rule and the exception. I wish I could say that I always follow God’s plan. But, the best I can say is that I do my best.

    Reply
    • Susie Miller

      Linda,
      I am not sure that I could say I do my best…reading your words caused me to pause and wonder about this. I sometimes get mad or willfully bratty and my best goes out the window. I think God wants us to do far less than we might think… love God, love others, love ourselves is pretty much it. we go and muck it up with rules and details. When I get tangled up, I try to remember that God is all about the heart – the why we do something – more than the what. When I am hustling to prove myself, or earn God’s love I know in my heart it is not right, and actually creates more distance with God. Resting and Being are loads harder than doing and earning for me. Seems like you are on the right path, simply in your desire to discern and live faithfully. Get out your tiara, polish it off, and put it on my friend! (((hugs)))

      Reply

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