Are You There?

Have you ever wondered – “God, are you there?”

Maybe you’ve been experiencing a spiritual battle. Maybe some tough times. Possibly you’re wondering where God is right now.

I’ve been told on a number of occasions, by a fairly large number of my Christian friends, that there are times when they just don’t sense or feel the presence of God in their lives.

Perhaps you’ve experienced this as well. I know that I have.

I think it’s vital that we understand that these feelings are really pretty normal for all of us at one time or another. We find ourselves in some sort of crisis and we cry out for God.

And for whatever reason, we feel that we are really distant from His presence.

During those times, I take comfort in remembering a story I was once told whenever I brought this subject up to a good friend.

I’ve since retold the story to others, and now I’d like to share it with you.

There is a legend that tells the story of a young Indian brave as he goes through his final test of initiation as a warrior.

For this final test, the young brave is taken deep into a forest at night. Blindfolded, he is totally unaware of where he is.

He is directed to sit on the ground and to surrender all his weapons. He is then told that his final test is to sit in this one place with the blindfold on. He is told that he is not to remove the blindfold until he feels the warming rays of the morning sun.

He is instructed not to move or to cry out.

And then, he is left alone.

As the night passes, he can hear the sounds of wild animals as they come near to him. Trembling at the unknown, he maintains his posture and his silence. As the night hours seemingly extend without ending, he grows ever more fearful as the sounds of the unknown seem to come close upon him.

Yet he knows that he must not move or cry out. To do so would mean his failing to attain warrior status.

As the hours drag on, he wonders if his trembling is due to the sense of fear or the chill of the night air. His mind races as he tries to determine what the sounds are that seem to be incessant and ever closer.

At long last he feels the warming rays of the morning sun.

Slowly and deliberately, he removes the blindfold.

It is only then that he discovers that seated on the ground across from him is his father, who has watched over and guarded him throughout the night.

I am nourished by this story. It gives us an example, in parable, of how our Father is always there.

Sometimes, it seems that it is only in retrospect that we can know that God was there throughout the whole ordeal. Watching over us and guarding us.

I’ve since worked hard on changing my thinking. I’ve resolved to understand and to know that God is there, especially in those times that I don’t sense His presence.

For those times that cause you to wonder, know this – He is always there, whether we can feel His presence or not.


  1. I’m there Joe. Sitting in the dark, I’ve learned a lot about myself. The gifts that God has given, the grace He gives when I’ve totally blown it. And I have, I won’t pretend otherwise.

    And I cling to the knowledge that God can, and will, use even our failures. Maybe especially our failures, in order to demonstrate the incredible love & glorious power He set loose in this world through the Spirit when he came under cover of night in the form of a man.

    Thanks for reminding me that our Father is there, watching & protecting.

    • Jim, sometimes those nights can be long – and very dark.

      And it sometimes seems like the only things that I’ve ever given God to work with are my failures. It’s in our failures and weaknesses that His Glory really shines through.

      You’re in my prayers brother.

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