I have a friend I have not heard from in a couple months. The silence has been so long, I sent a message hoping he will get it and at least know that I have been praying for him. The silence is not because of anything wrong. He is a Navy chaplain and has been deployed for several months. He has missed the birth of his third child. His wife and two older daughters are likely feeling the strain of missing the man of their home.
Distance is painful. David cried out, “Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me” (Psalm 38:21). David was in the soundproof room of his sin. His cries evaporate into the silence.
Can you relate with David’s agony? Do you feel estranged from God?
Recently, I was called to the house of someone shackled in the prison of alcohol. She was crying on the voicemail, “No one will help me! No one will answer me.” Rocking back and forth on the couch with incoherent sobs she flings her hand at the cup on the table, “I hate it! I hate that stuff!” A few moments later she takes a sip to calm her nerves.
O friend, this is the cry of a long distance relationship. Wherever you are in your journey of life, are you wrestling with the spiritual loneliness of sin? You hate it because of what it does to your relationships. You hate it because of what it does to your life. Yet you take a sip of it to calm your nerves. You are shackled in the prison of your own making and Satan has hidden the key. If I could give one message to you, it would be the same message I’d give to the addict and it is the same message God gave to Jeremiah, “Call upon me…and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
You must know God loves you desperately. The distance in your relationship is not His doing. Jesus Christ left heaven and came to earth. He spanned the infinite distance. The distance in your relationship which seems to be universes apart—that distance is changed to nearness with the simple, broken cry, “O Lord, forgive me.” Jeremiah displayed the heart wrenching plea for God’s forgiveness when he said, “Surely after that I was turned, I repented; And after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, Because I did bear the reproach of my youth” (Jeremiah 31:19). Your condition may seem incurable. Your sin may be over your head drowning you (Psalm 38:4). Seek the Lord. Confess your sins.
God said to his wayward people and the message is directed to you through Christ today, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiahs 31:3; 29:11). Jesus Christ has given you access to the throne of grace. Will you come boldly in your time of need?