Building Relationship

Encountering God

Let’s be honest, having a relationship with God can be difficult. Well, having any relationship is hard when you didn’t grow-up around positive relationships. It’s the “how to” that gets me.

I grew-up with some trauma, not to mention things like an abusive father figure, no idea who my biological father was, a traumatizing stepdad, and other men coming in-and-out of the home. I can’t blame my mother—she obviously didn’t know how to do relationships either.

Mom passed away in 2001, so I can’t heal and grow with her here. All this has truly hindered my ability to have relationship with Father God.

The hardest thing is that I have lacked encounter with God lately. Without encounter He’s not here with me, well He is, but it feels like He’s not.

I go through these phases of building and having a wonderful relationship with Him and then I stall out, so-to-speak. I want to get to the next phase. I want my motivations for relationship with Him to be honorable. And I don’t want to feel abandoned.

But how do I do it when He’s not visible in the room with me, or I’m not in the middle of an encounter?

Now, it’s an obvious answer is to say have more faith. That’s Biblical. And it wouldn’t hurt. It’s obvious to say I need healing, okay. How? I’m a mature Christian who has worked through these relationship issues for decades, including abandonment, victimhood, codependency, and more. So, what am I missing?

Let me put this another way: I think my perception and expectations of relationship and encounters need to change. Encounters have this way of helping us to “feel” Him, to experience His presence. But relationship must be more than encounters.

I think I expect that encounters are the relationship. But they’re not. They are merely a byproduct of the relationship.

I have family I don’t see every day. I know we still love each other and when I do see them, I’m more grateful for the time. So, why don’t I feel that way about Father God? I love Him, I obey His commands and I know He abides in me. So, what then?

Jesus and Holy Spirit are always accessible to me. Why not my Father in heaven? I’m pretty sure He’s not too busy for me.

King David felt this way. In Psalm 30 we read that David was horrified when God hid His face from him. Yet, David kept praising His Name in desperate gratitude.

I think the obvious answer is the right one after all. So, I’ll read and hear the Word of the Lord to increase my faith, learn more about the character of God and my identity as His child.

Whew! Amen.

Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

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