[I am thankful: Part III]
The second time I heard the voice of God was as I knelt by my bed for evening prayer a few weeks after the first experience. I have never been rebellious against God. “I don’t smoke, drink, or chew, nor go with the girls that do.” Yet after God spoke to me about His grace in my life I lived with a growing awareness I was not walking as close with Him as I should. I was convicted and I felt His absence in my life. I found myself frequently praying for assurance of God’s favor. As I knelt in my basement bedroom, I earnestly wanted to feel God’s presence and I cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why can’t I feel you in my life?” I was not expecting the words I heard echo in my head, “I have not moved.”
It was childish and misguided for me to blame God for my spiritual condition. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He stands at the door and knocks; He will come in and sup with anyone who invites Him. His invitation welcomes who-so-ever-will to enter into His fellowship. I was not forsaken. I had failed to walk close with Him. He is the ground of His own Being, the foundation of the universe; He is God, unmovable, unshakable. He is faithful; He is steadfast. We walk with Him the same way we first came to rest in Him, by faith.
In truth, I have prayed the Gethsemane prayer from time to time. There have been trials and tribulations when I felt abandoned by God. Even when I was walking in faith, I have at times felt abandoned. Yet every time I have instinctively prayed that prayer, I have been reminded of God’s voice so long ago; He has not moved. I can depend on Him. I will find His presence. Thanks be to God, who changes not.
January 3, 2010