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Those Who Feel Distant from God

By Heidi Johnston


This liturgy is taken from Every Moment Holy Volume 3 from Rabbit Room Press. You can find more liturgies like these at EveryMomentHoly.com.



 

Those Who Feel Distant from God
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Jehovah Shalom, God of our peace, 


You promised that your burden 

would be light. 

Yet here I am, shoulders bent 

under the weight  

of a silence that is long and heavy. 

I call to you, and wait, and hear no answer. 

I cry to you, but do not hear your voice. 


I am as one overtaken on a mountain path 

by thick mist and fog. I cannot see my way. 

Untethered, I feel the loss, not of you alone, 

but also of myself and who I am in you. 


I recall with longing days when  

the waters parted at your command 

and you carried me, fatherlike, 

into your presence; 

when your lovingkindness was  

the whisper that revived my weary soul; 

when your presence was the pillar 

that marked my path by day, 

and your voice the flame 

that banished darkness 

and kindled my song in the night. 

Oh God, my God, 

where is your comfort now? 

Why has your voice stilled? 


A MOMENT OF PRAYERFUL SILENCE IS KEPT.

 

Have I wavered or wandered from your

path? Has my heart been drawn away? 

Search me, O God, and find within me any

pride that causes me to stand at a distance

even as I mourn your absence, 

any sin that brings dishonor 

to your name, grieving your Spirit 

and robbing me of the intimacy I so

crave, or so long to crave. 


If my gaze has drifted, 

help me trust your grace, 

and look you in the eye once more. 


Or, if this distance is instead  

a hidden blessing—then let me  

be found faithful. If in this season  

of loneliness your silence simply  

offers me a chance to do what

will never be asked of me again 

in all of eternity to come; 

to trust without sight, 

believing that time will vindicate my

hope and prove you ever constant, 

then give me the courage to stand, 

trusting that these lines I throw

out are not cast into emptiness

but, passing through the veil, 

have taken hold of things eternal. 


Give me boldness now, 

even as doubt crouches at my door, 

that I may choose to anchor my

heart not in the ebb and flow of

feelings 

but in what I know to be true. 

That your word can be trusted. 

That your promises, unbroken  

in all of history, remain constant  

for me. That you are still who you  

have shown yourself to be: 

unchanging in holiness, 

extravagant in grace, 

relentless in love.  


If you are both the beginning and the

end, the first and the last, 

then what was true 

when light first illuminated the horizon

remains true even in my

disenchantment. 


If you are outside of time, 

seeing all of history in a single glance,

then this moment of doubt is simply

that: one point in an eternal story 

which at its consummation 

will prove you were always steadfast. 


Could it be that even now, within this

darkness, you are shaping and preparing me,

deepening my trust and forming 

within me a richness of love 

or a truer humility 

which will one day be used in your

kingdom or for your glory, in ways 

I cannot yet understand? 


If so, then fix my eyes on what 

for now is hidden from my view. 

Hold my soul fast, 

O God of my salvation, 

that I may praise you even here 

within the silence. 

For you are my Rock and my

Redeemer, my Stronghold, 

and the Sustainer of my Faith.  

Amen. 



 

Heidi Johnston is the author of Choosing Love in a Broken World and Life in the Big Story. She lives in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, with her husband, Glenn, and their two teenage daughters, Ellie and Lara.


 

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