Think about the last time you really connected with God. What did it look and feel like? Take a minute or two to really remember the experience and moment in time. Where were you? What happened? How did you feel? Once you have it in your mind, I want to pose to you another question: are you looking for God to show up in the same way again?
The last three to six months I’ve felt immensely frustrated and distant from God, to the point where after 20 years of following him, I genuinely considered walking away. It sounds a little extreme I know, but after a long series of pains and hurts, and asking him day after day to meet me at my point of need to no avail, I became despondent. Why wasn’t God answering me? Surely he could just show up in the familiar and tangible way I’ve felt him hundreds of times before!
More of the same
Prayer and worship have always been the two key ways I connect to God, and when I engage in them, it’s almost always a sure thing that I’ll have an encounter with God. The actual ‘encounter’ is hard to articulate, but essentially in that moment, nothing else matters, and I’m filled with overwhelming peace and joy.
Am I missing God?
We are multi-faceted human beings: we’re relational, physical, emotional and intellectual. We have a body, mind, soul and spirit and God engages with us in all of these ways at different times. To reduce our experience with God to just one facet of our humanity is naïve, and it’s exactly where I’d been going wrong.
I’d been spending all my time and energy asking God to show himself to me physically and emotionally. I wanted that warm fuzzy feeling complete with the goose bumps to boot. I discovered that God had been trying to speak to me through my intellect by expanding my knowledge of him and his ways.
He recently led me to start listening to some podcasts by world-renowned Christian teachers, and it’s expanded and enriched my understanding of Him, which in turn has deepened my relationship with Him profoundly.
Time for something new
What about you? Have you been looking for God to show up in one particular way, and then feeling discouraged because he’s not?
Think about the various ways you connect with the people close to you. Sometimes it’s through talking, other times it’s just being in their company and not saying anything at all. There are times for laughter and fun, and times for deeper conversations. Times for hugging and using physical touch, and times to write a letter or send flowers. We communicate with our loved ones in such a variety of ways, and I think we need to remember that God is far more creative than we’ll ever be, and has far more ways and means of showing himself to us.
Keeping searching; God is there
Perhaps you’re the opposite of me, and you’ve been searching for God intellectually. You read lots of books, and have a thirst for information, but yet you feel distant and disconnected from God.
In the same way that God needed to show me that I’m much more than just a ball of emotional feelings, maybe God wants to show you that you’re more than mere intellect, and trying to rationalise everything might be hindering you from a beautiful encounter in God’s presence.
God can’t be put in a box, so open your eyes and heart to the new ways that God might be speaking to you today.
Teagan spends her 9 to 5 as a Social Media Producer in Sydney. After 5, she can be found running, drinking coffee, shopping, on the beach, or cooking up a storm. She studied Psychology at University, and plans to ‘one day’ complete her Masters and work as a shrink, but in the meantime, she is navigating her way through this thing called life and trying to stop and smell the roses along the way.
Teagan Russell’s previous articles may be viewed at