Mom sailed through the hurricane with her usual optimism and strength. During the days of the storm, my anxiety level was understandably high and I prayed for her safety throughout the day. I spoke to Mom more than once a day and wished that I was with her. In the days since things have begun to return to normal with Mom’s busy friendships taking up much of her time.
The distance between us stretches back to where it was before. We miss each other dearly, but our lives have returned to where they were. After the storm, I discovered that I felt lonely. There was a space in heart that had previously been filled by our constant conversations during the storm. This image, like an ocean ebbing and rising, reminds me of how a relationship with God can feel at times.
During our personal storms, we may be called out of the boat to walk on the waters of faith toward Jesus’ outstretched hand just as Peter was called out in faith. In these moments, our experience of God’s presence can be the closest we’ve ever felt. We not only feel him near, holding us above the waves, but understand what it is to be loved by him.
Afterwards, we return to the mundane familiarity of our lives. But what of the spiritual intimacy we felt during the storm? Often, like the storm surge that settles back into the unnoticed gentle tidal ebb and flow, our relationship with God may recede in our mind to the point that his presence feels distant, only because during the storm he felt so close.
If there is any consolation during this fallow period it is to recognize that we are in very good company. Throughout the Psalms we see this remarkable interplay between a soul’s wrenching cry for God and…
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