Absent from God

Written by Katherine Manthe

A few weeks ago, I was pretty busy. I had been putting in long hours at work, scrambling to finish assignments on time, make it to classes, church, and a sibling volleyball or soccer game here and there. This doesn’t include the time I spent running to the grocery store, gym, and sleeping. Or laying in bed wishing I was sleeping. It seemed that no matter how exhausted I was at the end of the day, I had the hardest time getting to sleep. I often laid awake for hours, just thinking. I felt physically exhausted, but also emotionally exhausted. I didn’t want to do the things I used to love doing, and I was finding it harder and harder to get myself out of bed. There were too many things for me to do in a day and I was caving in from all the pressure. I felt as if God was absent from me. Where was He when I needed things to calm down?

One particular night I was having a worse time falling asleep than usual. After tossing and turning for a spell, and a fit of frustrated crying, I noticed my Bible on the shelf. I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I actually opened it up and read it, so I propped my pillows up and opened to John. Chapter 16 verse 33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

This verse made me remember that the exhaustion I’d been feeling was only temporary. I realized that God was in control, and I found the peace I had been looking for in His words.

I slept soundly that night for the first time in a long time. I realized that in my busy schedule, I had been forgetting to include the most important thing of all: time invested in God’s Word. God was never absent from me; I was absent from Him.

I began to make time for personal devotions, group devotions, and reading my Bible every night, regardless of how tired I was. This one simple change made such a difference in my life. There were nights when I was frustrated with how I looked, or struggling with loneliness, discouragement, or just plain exhaustion. I began to look forward to reading my Bible at the end of the day, filled with encouragement from His comforting words. Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I know when life gets busy and chaotic, it can be hard and stressful. While your first thought may be something along the lines of mine, “help my life calm down,” I encourage you to try something else. Instead of asking Him to take away the chaos, thank Him for it. Let your prayer be to let the waters around you rise. I thank Him for my busy, stressful life because that is what made me realize my Heavenly Father has and always will have a place for me in His loving arms.

I’m not as busy as I used to be, but I still make time for the most important thing I will do every day. When I walk with God on a regular basis, I feel strong and confident. I know that the same God who created the heavens and the earth is with me always (Matthew 28:20).

No matter how busy your schedule is, I encourage you to invest time in your Bible. Don’t be absent from God. In this world ridden with sin, we will always have problems and heartache. It’s a comfort to know it won’t always be like this. Though we are weak, and we sin again and again, we are still forgiven and welcomed back into our Savior’s embrace. Because He made the ultimate sacrifice and took our place, we have this wonderful promise of eternal life with Him in heaven.

“In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” -Psalm 56:11

Let the Waters Rise – Music Video