November 9, 2020
By Carol Joseph
Life is full of changes. And over the years, I’ve learned to adapt to and even embrace a lot of those changes. But the change that’s the hardest for me to accept is a change in relationships. Especially when that change isn’t instigated by me.
I think part of the reason is because, for me, relationships take time to build. They’re like a pot of Sunday soup that needs time to simmer, to let the personalities meld and shared experiences come together to create something rich, comforting and deeply satisfying.
So, when those relationships that once nourished my soul change or become severed, I feel their loss profoundly and have a difficult time moving past them.
Several years ago, someone with whom I was very close to inexplicably stopped all communication with me. I left messages, sent letters and spent countless hours replaying conversations in my head trying to figure out what I could have done to cause such a drastic and hurtful change in our relationship. It wasn’t until years later that I learned it wasn’t anything I had done, but something the other person was going through that affected the relationship.
I think the same thing sometimes happens in my relationship with God. Only with Him, I’m the one who pulls away.
There are times when I feel incredibly close to God and our relationship is deep and soul-satisfying. And other times—usually when things are going well and I think I have everything under control— when I keep God at arm’s length, stop communicating with Him and make other people and things a priority in my life.
The good news is, somehow, I always find my way back to God. And when I do, He is always there, waiting for me with open arms and His unwavering, unconditional love. No questions asked, no grudges held. Like the father running to meet the prodigal son, God joyfully and wholeheartedly celebrates my return.
Thankfully, my God is so much bigger than I am. And in our relationship, He’s all-in, even when I’m not.
As my relationship with Jesus has grown, those periods of distance still happen, but less frequently and for shorter durations. Because I know that being in close relationship with my Savior is good for me. I’m a better person and my life is more peaceful and fulfilling when I make Him an important part of it. And, quite frankly, I turn into a mess when He’s not.
If you haven’t felt close to God lately, or ever, talk to Him about it. Be honest with God and yourself about how you feel, what you need and what you’re willing to do to start or strengthen your relationship with Him.
God is always there. He sees you. He knows you. He wants a genuine and lasting relationship with you. And that’s something that never changes.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20 NIV)