I’m all the time being asked by people, “How do you feel closer to God?” And I kind of always want to say, “I don’t know.” When I read the lives of most of the great saints, they didn’t necessarily feel very close to God. When I read the Psalms I get the feeling like David and the other Psalmists felt quite far away from God for most of the time. Closeness to God is not about feelings. It’s about obedience… I don’t know how you feel close to God. And no one I know who seems to be close to God knows anything about those feelings either. I know if we obey, occasionally the feeling follows. Not always, but occasionally. I know that if we disobey, we don’t have a shot at it.
– Rich Mullins
There probably wasn’t a time in history when we weren’t asking how do you FEEL close to God. But in 2019 we have a graver concern – we have come to realize that the reason anyone hangs on to faith is because of an experience. At one time, or many times, or another – if you have hung on by any accounts is because of some type of spiritual experience – whether it be emotional, mental, or otherwise.
Not that there aren’t other anchors to faith, like theological, doctrinal, tradition, reason, relational…but hands down the “why” a person hangs on or not usually comes down to the evidence of your own experience.
Don’t believe me? Take five minutes and actually ask yourself “why” you believe…or rather…still believe, have faith, or trust in the Divine.
And so…why so many people, it seems, loose their faith…is their experience becomes to far removed becoming like a distant memory, or even buried under the cares of life, and timeline of our plotted lives that it may even seem like it was a fairytale…and before you know it…that’s exactly how it becomes labeled and dismissed.
This is many people’s story.
And that’s very understandable. But…I would like you to begin to think of “feeling” God in a different way.
Recently a ragamuffin friend reached out…and I could feel their heartfelt cry of “not feeling close to God”…and for some reason or no reason at all…inside my soul I said, “That’s not true.”
That’s the definition of mystical my friends.
Almost laughing at myself I said…why in the world would that be. In that very moment I looked at my almost 2 year old little girl Penny, and smiled.
Later that day I had her and her sister Lucy in my arms playing in the yard. The joy I experienced, the warmth of the sun on my face, and the coolness of the pool water I felt as I played with my kids; the fresh feeling of wind whisking by…every last moment and experience was “feeling God”…
My friends and fellow ragamuffins…what if we are “feeling “ God…and just don’t know it…
What if what needs to change is not your feelings…but your awareness….maybe and I would 100% argue…that you are feeling God…more than you could possibly know…matter of fact your life is dripping with the presence of God, His love, and gripping grace more than you can possibly imagine…but what needs to grow up, if I can put it bluntly, is your awareness.
You soul’s eyesight is currently farsighted seeing into the past of a spiritual high at a church camp, retreat, or conference…or a moment or moments that had great significance to you …which is sweet, beautiful, and yes…meaningful…
But I’d like you to press into a deeper reality…one that can see, feel, hear, and taste the presence and love of God that is literally all around you…
The piercing sound of God’s love is in every leaf blowing through the wind, every blade of grass growing towards the heavens, and every children’s laugh…matter of fact once you learn where to look…you will begin to see and therefore feel God everywhere…both in the communal suffering of the poor, the marginalized, the mentally handicapped, the bum on the street, and the movie and social media stars…God is literally everywhere in both love and suffering…loving the unloveable and joining in the suffering of the least of these…and the least of these that may have much on the inside…but are heartbreakingly poor on the inside.
My friends…yes God loves you…but my prayer for myself…AND for you today…is that are soul’s eyesight can become more crisp and clear to the reality of God’s presence that is overwhelmingly everywhere.
Once you can see God, you will in no doubt start to feel God for WHERE He is …which is absolutely EVERYWHERE.