Emails like this really touch my heartâ€¦ Obviously this man is feeling quite desperate, but I love the reality with which he is sorting out the empty place religion leaves in the human heart, even for those who think they lead it. Here is his cry and my response:
Well, how can I say this? I am 51 years old, been involved in ministry all my life, thought I loved the Father and knew Him but over the past 3 years I have become painfully aware that I have never had any significant relationship with the Father or other people. The struggle is intense. I feel as if I have thrown my life away.
I want to know and love the Lord. The hunger consumes my every thought and is my only desire. He seems so far away and disinterested. I need to find the Father and His love. This burden of doubt and distrust is eating me alive.
Please, if you find time, pray for me and my wife and my children.
My response: As painful as this may be right now, Father is undoubtedly opening your eyes to some incredible things. Yes, I know how painful it can be and how wasted our previous years might seem. But I think youâ€™ll find that even though we may have been less aware of his presence in us, his work was still going on. No doubt, with a heart like yours, youâ€™ve had a profound touch on people in the past about which you might be completely unaware.
But I want to encourage you to keep leaning into him and let him grow this relationship with you because there is nothing better. Though he may seem so far away and disinterested, that is not his nature. It often seems that way when we are focused on our own efforts to know him, rather than his power to draw us to him. I know that is easier to write than live, but God does not begin what he does not complete.
You have my prayers, and Iâ€™d be happy to help however I can. If you want to read my own personal journey through a similar time you might want to read my book, He Loves Me. It is available on my website as a free download in PDF version… That might help some, but ultimately this is something God is sorting out in you. This will be a wonderful season in your life, though you will know that far better by hindsight than you can possibly appreciate today.
Just ask him to make himself known to you however he desires. Donâ€™t think of all you â€˜should doâ€™ to make this happen. Just keep a surrendered heart before him and do whatever he puts in your heart to do…