Hopefully all of us experience times when we feel close to God, times when see God at work in our midst, times when our spirituality seems strongly linked with God’s intention for our lives--times when praising God and serving others feels so right.
However if we have lived very long at all; if we have stepped outside our doorstep more than once, we know that our existence isn’t always like that.
Sometimes we come to God and we expect the miracles. We want the loaves of bread and the piece of fish, and sometimes it just isn’t there. Sometimes not only is it not there, but there have been experiences in which we feel that we have the bread and fish, but it is taken away from us, and we want to ask God – why?
You may know what is to walk in darkness.
Sometimes faith is walking in darkness and simply refusing to quit. Sometimes faith is just hanging on. The character of faith that allows us to be transformed by suffering and darkness is not doubt free. (From Pastor Randy's sermon on August 26)
For your reflection: (from Pamela)
When we feel close to God, it is called "consolation". When we feel isolated from God, unable to see or feel God's presence it is called "desolation."
Desolation is characterized by a deep hunger for God's peace. We want to be filled and completely saturated with God's love. Desolation can happen even when our bodies have been filled to the max with food and drink. In fact, filling our lives and bodies with "stuff" often is the way we try to stave off spiritual hunger.
Can you recall a time when you were literally hungry or thirsty and unable to satisfy it? Can you recall a time when you were spiritually hungry?
Reflect on those times. What was going on? How was your hunger or thirst (in both the physical and the spiritual sense) relieved?