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 It’s Enough

The woman passed away yesterday.

While I vacuumed pine needles off the floor, debated whether to take down the Christmas tree because it’s hard to let go of things we love.

The frail woman, though surrounded by loved ones had to let go.

One last breath, and her eternal soul flew into the arms of Jesus.

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While I, not knowing she was gone, stripped sheets off my guest bed,

And breathed in the lingering scent of my grown son who had returned to his own home.

I LOATHE goodbyes though my heart says, “We’ll be together again.”

When I heard the woman was “walking streets of gold,”

My heart was heavy.

Like it was on New Year’s Eve when I watched my grown son walk away into the airport.

I longed to run after him for one more hug.

Another chance to say I love you.

Even though we know how much we love each other.

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Driving home from the airport, I thought about the day before, when we put together a puzzle.

Holiday movies were background noise.

Bowls of half-eaten Chex Mix, and empty candy wrappers sat on the table.

My pants snug.

I placed the last piece into the jigsaw puzzle and declared, “It is finished!”

And a voice within me groaned, “ENOUGH!”

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As much as I love the holiday season … family, food, fun … I was ready for routine.

Perhaps the woman was ready.

As much as she loved her family and friends, wanted to celebrate life on Earth one more day,

Perhaps, she’d had “Enough!”

Enough of the endless

Physical pain, medical appointments, hospital visits.

Enough disappointment

As she hung to a thread of hope she’d be restored to good health.

Enough sorrow

To let go and leave behind….

Her favorite things and the precious people she loved.

And be with her Beloved Jesus,

Who “will wipe every tear from their eyes….no more death, mourning, crying or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)

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Today, my Christmas tree comes down.

It’s been up long enough.

I’ll wrap:

A newly-wed couple’s first hand-blown ornaments, faded with age.

Baby’s first Christmas,

A toddler’s photo glued to a felt star

Ceramic candy canes painted by children now grown and gone.

I’ll say goodbye and put them away until …

I was going to say, “Next Christmas.”

But who knows what a year from now brings.

I ONLY KNOW THAT I KNOW THERE’S A HEAVEN.

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One day, I’ll be there with the woman,

I never met,

Whom I grew to love,

Because I prayed for her last year.

Together, we’ll be in HEAVEN

Where Saints meet and re-unite.

AND WE CAN NEVER, EVER, GET ENOUGH OF JESUS.