Is God Watching From a Distance?

In church, I sang the words “Our God is greater, our God is stronger,” without conviction.

If God were greater and stronger than any other, wouldn’t I see more victory in Christian lives?

More joy, more answered prayer?

Perhaps Bette Midler’s lyrics are right. Perhaps “God is watching us from a distance.” 

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Because when I’m watching someone from a distance…and I see people in the news fleeing from persecution or weeping after a natural disaster….

I empathize, but I don’t feel their pain.

Not like I do in person. Otherwise, I’d be compelled to act more often. Pray. Donate money. Assist them.

Which is why I sometimes feel like God is watching from a distance. Lord, can you see me from up there? Listen to me. Do something now!

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I tried to ignore Satan’s insinuation that God was far away. But my problems took centerstage on the altar instead of the Cross.

“Lord, I know worship is about you, but if I could taste victory in this particular area then I’d be able to praise you. Experience joy again.”

During the next song, I closed my eyes to meditate on the Lord’s faithfulness in my life. I wanted to praise Him in the storm instead of waiting for the clouds to pass.

Perhaps I’d been watching God from a distance.

Giving Him my daily, one-way dictation. Telling God what He should do to make life better. Problems solved. Joy regained. Make it snappy.

Rather than be still in God’s presence for Him alone. Obeying His Word because I love Him.

“Lord, I’ve spent too much time looking at Me and Mine this past week. Forgive me. Only You can satisfy my heart. I know this because I’ve experienced the…

  • Joy of Your presence. 
  • Joy not based on answered prayer. 
  • Joy of Your salvation.

Weight lifted from my shoulders when I agreed to stop fixing everyone’s problems, and fix my eyes back on the Lord. 

Trusting Him to work out everything for good in my life and theirs. (Romans 8:28, 29)

God watches His children, but He is fully present. For His Spirit dwells within each believer.

God not only sees our felt needs, He knows our true needs which includes our never-ending need to abide (or remain) in Christ. (John 15) To illustrate abiding, Jesus used the visual of a branch attached to a vine in order to bear fruit.

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 Abiding in Christ means it’s possible to have an ever-present relationship with the Almighty God. Some of that fruit is joy.

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11)

Joyful, even in this…

Moment when God may seem far away and slow to the rescue.

When the Empty Nest Ain’t Empty

I mourned my empty nest when the last chick flew from home.

Veteran moms told me I’d adjust to the empty space. The solitude. Cooking for two.

They were right.

Bedroom walls—once plastered with posters and youthful fingerprints—were painted and turned into guest rooms.

Beds were always made because no one slept in them. Bath towels hung on the rod like soldiers in formation. Ready for inspection.

A tidy way to live.

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No dirt. No drama.

Living in that sterile environment fooled me. Made me think I had my act together.

Then all my chicks arrived—temporarily filling up the nest. Bringing their smiles. Their baggage.

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Suddenly, SELF is tripping over shoes. Cooking when I’m not hungry. Stepping on sticky floors. Washing dishes I didn’t use. Just like the “good, old days of child-rearing.”

And I’m aghast!

Not with my guests, but my SELF.

Accustomed to being in control, there’s nothing like sharing and serving others to realize—maybe I’m not as patient and selfless as I assumed. 

In self defense, my family becomes a handy excuse to NOT meet with the Lord. I’m on vacation.

Then wonder, “Where’s the fruit of the Spirit like self-control and joy?”

Only this time, praise God, I’m proactive. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I may roll my eyes when someone leaves the light on, but I refuse to nag or stuff negative thoughts inside of me and look as though I’ve eaten sour pickles. Don’t want to implode.

Like the Proverbs 30 woman, I rise before my household. Not to meet their needs, but my own because it’s imperative to put on my oxygen mask first!

Alone with the Lord, I relinquish yesterday’s mistakes, disappointments, and small annoyances. Why give Satan the victory?

Then I ask God to show me how to be more like Christ while my empty nest ain’t empty.

However, I can only do what Jesus would do when I heed His words, “Come to Me” (Matthew 11:28). And then abide in Christ throughout the day, mindful of His presence, knowing….

Even in this—bustling nest filled with human bloopers and blunders—God will accomplish His predestined will in me as well as others.

“Molding us into the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29)

One dirty sink and shoe-tripping day at a time.