If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13, NKJV
How does a person restore a connection with God? That was the question posed by a friend of Guidelines. She struggled in even writing the letter, saying that four years ago she had written asking the same question but never mailed the letter. Now a little girl, three years of age, is asking questions about God, and all of this triggers feelings of remorse and regret.
Like so many who have drifted away from the warmth of the Father's love, this young woman sustained a loss, a big one too. Her brother was brutally murdered, and when this happened her heart cried out, "God, why did you let this happen? Where were you when my brother needed your help?"
Scores of people have been there. Yes, they know that if God undertook every time that one of His children was in need, everybody would want to line up on God's side, just to avoid the pain and disappointment of living in a broken world. I'm thinking of a cartoon that shows a crusader standing over a pagan, his sword resting on the neck of the subdued person, who, looking up says, "Tell me more about your new religion. I'm terribly interested!" Hey, that's the way it would be with the whole world, if we who are Christians always came out on top.
People who once connected with God know that the Bible is full of stories about individuals who were godly people who were mistreated and suffered without cause. Daniel was thrown to the lions. Jeremiah was cast into a slime pit and left to die. Elijah lived in exile with a price on his head. David had to hide out for seven years as Saul sought to kill him.
Down in their hearts people who blame God for what happens know that God isn't the one who caused the problem. They simply have turned and walked away because He didn't reverse the tide of evil or the wickedness which broke the tranquility and order of their lives.
Then a little child begins asking about God, or a friend lies at the point of death, or in the darkness of their souls they begin thinking about how it used to be, how at one time the joy of the Lord was real and when they prayed, the presence of God seemed so close and meaningful.
Here's the question: How do you restore the broken connection with God? Just asking the question, facing the issue, means you recognize the deep longing in your heart to connect with God.
When David realized that the affair with Bathsheba had broken his connection with God, he prayed, pouring out his heart and honestly telling God how he felt. Psalm 51 records this. That's your first step. Realize that God is far more desirous of embracing you and drawing you to Himself than you are to have Him do this.
Gently remind yourself that it was not God who moved. You did. So, come back. Paul wrote Timothy, saying, "Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us" (2 Timothy 2:13, Living Bible).
Paul is saying that God's nature is that of faithfulness. His love is unchanging, and His desire to have fellowship with you hasn't lessened in spite of your detour from His presence.
Finally, draw a line and step across it. Say, "As for the past, I leave it behind. I choose to walk with the Lord. Get back to church, and dust off your Bible and start reading it. Underline it, memorize it and realize it's God's love letter to you personally.
It's time to restore a broken connection.
Resource reading: Psalm 51:1-19