Had A Rough Day At Church Today

I didn’t want to be there today.  I wasn’t in the mood, and to make it worse, the service was longer than usual.  The term “hardness of heart” is a common Biblical phrase, and I felt it very clearly within myself.  I didn’t want to sing, and I found myself being very critical of that portion of the service.  To make matters worse, the sermon was well presented, but the content was about Gideon who God spoke to audibly.  Even after an experience like that, he still questioned God’s existence and tested him multiple times, and God kept proving himself to Gideon.  I have been praying for nearly a year that God would reveal himself to me in some way to help me believe, and that prayer has not been answered a single time.

I felt like church was the wrong place for me, and that I didn’t belong, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.  That scares me.

I spent some time this afternoon reading Lamentations 3.  It’s a very interesting chapter, especially verses 1-18.  I felt many of the same emotions as the author.  One verse in particular that I resinate well with is 8 which says, “Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer.”

There is some hope later in the chapter.  Verses 25, 31, and 32 are particularly relevant for me which say, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him …  For the Lord will not reject forever.  For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.”  I hope that is true.

Days like this are difficult – where God feels as though he has abandoned you.  Do you ever feel similar?  What helps you in times like this?

(Notice:  None of what I wrote is me complaining or saying anything bad about my church.  I really appreciate the people there.  I consider all of this to be my own problem and struggle)


7 thoughts on “Had A Rough Day At Church Today

  1. Hi Josh. I don’t know if I’ve felt that God had abandoned me but I have wondered in frustration his timing to my prayers, and I guess in some ways that’s the same. And I know what you mean to walk into church service and not quite have the enthusiasm you think you should but what has worked for me is to know I am not alone in the body of Christ…my feelings, my struggles, and even in my resistance.

    And one more thing, muster up a little praise in service (when you don’t feel like it) and let the Holy Spirit take a hold and bring to remembrance those ‘answered prayers’.

    I hope I said something 🙂

    • Tahlitha – Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I’m not even sure I can honestly distinguish between an answered prayer, and the way it would have turned out anyway had I not prayed. I need God to show me a sign or something. It’s becoming harder and harder to keep faith when God seems to be hiding himself from me. How long must I wait for him to answer my knocking?

      • Hi Josh, you’re welcome.

        I can’t speak for God on his timing to answering prayers but I will say take a closer look at your environment, the things and people in your life or take some time to listen intently (to his voice) and see if he has already answered in a manner that’s not exactly how you asked for it.

        What I mean is that God is God and he’ll more than likely answer your/our prayers from his perspective rather than our own. Trust him Josh.

        I hope I said something, again 🙂

  2. Hi, I found your blog through a link on Talitha’s blog. There are times when I feel a distance in my relationship with God (often through my lack of regular worship.) I can relate to your “sign” and get nothing. But when I think about it, maybe God does give a sign, but it’s just not what I was looking for, so I didn’t see it. If we are not going in the direction God wants us to go, I do believe He will keep “nudging” us until we finally get it. I find comfort in knowing that even if I feel lost, I’m not alone and stranded.

    I hope you get the reassurances you’re looking for. Maybe just this process of baring the honest truth of your feelings in this post will remove a block that will draw you closer to God.

    • Janna – Thanks for your thought. I understand what you are saying about God giving a sign. But, what good is a sign that you don’t see? I want to believe that God is wise and effective enough to provide a sign in a manner in which I will not be able to avoid seeing it. But then again, none of us can claim to know exactly how God works. It seems that I need less of a nudge, and more of a body slam 🙂

      • Hahaha…I can relate to that – sometimes I half-joke that I’d like the bolt of lightning or something!

        About the signs…sometimes not seeing them has to do with our frame of mind, or our heart not fully being there the absorb it. For instance, I’ll be honest here…I want to believe I have given my life to God, but don’t think I have 100% trust. If all of a sudden, I felt like God was telling me to sell everything I own and move my family to Botswana, I would probably ignore that message, because it’s scary.

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