The other night, I came upon a startling realization within myself: I have faith in God, but I don’t feel like I have a relationship with Him.
I’m not sure how that happened. I have never really wavered in my faith in Him, in my belief in Him. I talk about the Bible all the time and write about it here on Medium. I pray and I listen to sermons (not as often as I should), and I read the Bible (again, not nearly as often as I should). But that relationship I’m supposed to build with God… I can’t seem to find it.
But I know, deep down, that this is what I’m missing. There’s a big empty in my life, day to day, and I know it is the distance between me and my Savior that I sometimes just can’t find my way across.
On some days, it is there. Maybe it is a line of dialogue in a movie that snags on my faith and bridges the gap temporarily, or maybe it is a sermon that hits me in some kind of way, or a song or even just a moment of serenity in nature that speaks to me. And in those moments, I feel close to God. I feel like I can leave my sins behind, like I can shrug off my addictions and my worldly wants and follow Him.
But then those days pass, and before I know it, I’m back where I started, on the other side of that chasm, searching for that relationship, that connection that I know ought to be there. My faith remains as strong as ever, but that connection seems to ebb and flow.
You might wonder how someone can have complete faith in God but not feel the relationship. But I’d wager that someone else who is reading this who also feels this chasm in their life. And I’m not going to lie to you: this story is not going to tell you how to fix it. I don’t have that information for you.
What I do have is my experiences. Whenever I feel that emptiness withdraw and the chasm close, that’s when I’ve been reading my Bible the most, when I’ve been connecting with other Christians and listening to sermons. In those moments, that’s when songs and movies and other books seem to find ways of communicating God to me through their unrelated words. That’s when I can look out at a lake and notice all of the colors of God’s creation and just feel present in it.