Close Enough to Touch
And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well. (Matthew 14:35-36 ESV)
There are times when I feel the presence of the Lord surround me and tuck me in. During this season, every time I open the Word, it seems to illuminate and touch me deeply and personally. It’s so easy to ‘walk the walk’ when I feel His nearness.
But then . . . there are the seasons of feeling distant.
Some call it a time in the desert, which I think describes it very well. I thirst for His Spirit to pour into me and to feel His touch. I open the Bible in obedience and search the scriptures for something that will make my heart move . . . but it seems as though it’s just paper and ink. I put on worship music and sit, praying that my soul will be touched, but end up loading the dishwasher in defeat. Going to church is an exercise of discipline more than desire as entering in is difficult.
Sometimes these seasons in the dry desert seem to stretch out for as far as our memories can recall. I once spoke with a pastor’s wife who said that she was in this dark, lonely spiritual place for almost two years. Two years! Can you imagine having to lead women in Bible studies, counsel, and weekend events . . . all the while feeling so disconnected that you feel hypocritical? Having come through it, my friend said that she would do it all over again as it gave her new insight into hurting women. She had never gone through a season of ‘disconnection’ of spiritual feelings and so could never relate. Now, she lamented, she could offer help and hope. How much sweeter once we break through the barrier and come through to the other side!
Ladies, there are mountain tops and valleys. That is just the way it is. Sometimes the Lord’s presence is almost tangible and we float through our days . . . sometimes for years! Even though tragedy hits us during this time, His touch is just that much stronger and evident in our lives. During the dry season, however, we flinch and fold with every struggle, praying in faith that the feeling of His touch will manifest.
What we need to understand and grasp is that both the highs and the lows are just feelings. They are not a true indication of the Lord’s presence in our lives. He is near. We need to continue to reach out and grope to find the edge of His garment . . . to hold fast to whatever threads we can, knowing that He heals and He walks with us . . . even when we don’t always feel Him.
Father, oh how we love it when we sense Your presence in tangible ways. We thank You Holy Spirit for coming as a Comforter in times of need. Help us to hold fast to our faith during the seasons that are filled with doubt and dryness. We thank You that You promised to never leave us or forsake us and we stand on that promise – regardless of how we feel. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
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