August 4, 2020

I Miss You: A Lament

alone.jpgHow long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

Psalm 13:1-2

I miss you, God.

It’s like you’re not around.

I see your world. I’m with your people. I’m surrounded by books about you. I read about you and talk about you. I teach others about you.

But I miss you.

I believe you’re there. I believe the Bible. I believe in Jesus. I don’t doubt your existence at all.

I miss you.

You. Not your people, or songs about you or books about you. I miss you.

I don’t miss all the theology in the books, the blogs and the lectures. I don’t miss the points of all the sermons. Or the answers to questions.

I have all those. Far more than I need, to be honest. But when David says, “Why are you hiding from me?” I know exactly what he is talking about.

I am missing you, God.

All of the activities that go on where you are talked about don’t bring you to me. Nothing that’s said or done in church fills this empty place.

When I pray, I feel like I’m talking, and that’s all. I don’t feel like I’m your child and you are there delighting in me. I feel you are far away.

It’s like you moved on and didn’t leave your address. It’s like we lived in the same house, but you’ve moved out without telling me where you went.

I cried out to you last night. Over and over. I want you to hear me. I don’t need to get your attention. I believe you’re close by. But I can’t see, sense or feel you. I feel alone. Like I am talking to myself.

I am starting to resent those who know you are close to them. Why am I different?

When I knew less, when I was considered young and ignorant, I felt you close to me. Then I grew up, and now I’m in the middle of life. It feels like I have lost you along the way. Somewhere in the crowd I let go of your hand, and now I’m alone. I’m calling out, but there is no answer.

There are people who will ridicule me for saying I want you. They will say I’m too interested in emotion. I don’t care what they say. This isn’t about my theology. My theology is as good as I can make it by all my efforts at study. No, this is about being able to stop and say “God is close to me. God delights in me. God is my friend, my father, my ever-present Abba.”

Where did you go? Why did you go away? Did my sins make you go away? Are you teaching me something? Are you taking away your presence so I will walk on, by faith, without you? Is this the “trough” C.S. Lewis wrote about? Will there ever be an explanation?

I’m weary of explanations and answers. I’m worn out with principles and illustrations. I’ve heard talking for what seems like an eternity and it doesn’t bring you closer to me.

When this happens, I hear voices telling me I shouldn’t need to feel you, and I shouldn’t even want to feel you. They will say I’m not reading and believing the verses. They will tell me I’m not trusting.

I may not be trusting you as I should. It’s harder and harder to trust you in this loneliness. It’s hard to turn away from this emptiness and tell myself you are real. I believe all of the right things in my mind, but my heart is aching to have you close to me again.

You’ve seen my tears. I don’t suppose they impress you. Maybe they are selfish, or sinful. I just don’t know anymore. Those tears are my way of saying I want you again. I want you in the way I experienced you before anyone said “Heâ’s smart” or “He knows about God.”

I miss you so much.

Please come back to me. Please tell me what to do. Please.

Comments

  1. I wish I wanted God as bad as you do. I’ve grown to have no desire at all. Yet something new stirred in me while I read this. A faint ember that I thought had long burned out.

    Thank you Michael.

  2. I cried as I read this. Beautiful. Real. And I know exactly what you mean.

  3. I miss Him too.

    I cried when I read it, too. I literally google’d “I miss you, God.” and ended up here. I guess I’m not the only one. I don’t know what drove me to google that phrase, but I’m glad I did.

    Thanks.

  4. Dear Michael,

    I was excited when I first began reading your “I miss You, God” poem because I had googled in “God, I miss You”, just as a silly way to express to God that I love Him and want to be with Him. By the time I ended reading the poem, my heart felt sick for you. My experience with God has not been that I miss Him because I can’t find Him, but rather I have sweet fellowship with Him often and desire more. That’s a different kind of “I miss you” than the emptiness you shared.

    Please forgive me for my boldness, but I am questioning if you know Jesus as your Savior. My closest times of personal fellowship with Him (daily) have been centered around the love He pours out into my heart by showing me things that He did for me in being a Savior for me. How can I possibly express the happiness and love I feel from God to me when I contemplate on My God suffering in such agony on the cross just so that He would deliver me from an eternity in hell and have a love relationship with Him? Every time I ponder this truth, which is many, many times a day, I am overwhelmed by it. My God would rather suffer for my sins, than see me punished in hell. My God, who did this for me, has invited me to talk to Him about any and everything I want to talk to Him about. And I can thoroughly agree with Psalm 116:1,2 “I LOVE THE LORD, BECAUSE HE HAS HEARD MY VOICE AND MY SUPPLICATIONS. BECAUSE HE HAS INCLINED HIS EAR TO ME, THEREFORE I WILL CAL UPON HIM AS LONG AS I LIVE.”

  5. Dear Michael,

    Sorry, I accidentally submitted the previous comment before I was finished.

    I am not trying to boast about having prayers answered, but I do see them answered often. And I can say that I have joy in seeing God directly intervene in my life in answer to specific requests. Just as John 16:24 says, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.”

  6. Dear Michael,

    Sorry, I accidentally submitted the previous comment before I was finished.

    I am not trying to boast about having prayers answered, but I do see them answered often. And I can say that I have joy in seeing God directly intervene in my life in answer to specific requests. Just as John 16:24 says, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.”

  7. I’m so sorry, Michael, but I keep on accidentally submitting my comments. So, this is continued from before:

    Anyhow, I would strongly encourage you to examine yourself to see if your faith is truly in Jesus, as your sin-bearer, your Savior and your God. If He’s not, that would explain why you feel the way you do.

    I will pray for you some today, that your experience would be the same as the Christians for whom Paul prayed, that “Christ would dwell in your hearts through faith…to KNOW the love of Christ, which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17a, 19

    Praying for you,

    Christine

  8. Hi there,
    I randomly came to see your post. I am missing God, so all I did was type in “God, i miss you” in the google search, and then I saw all this junk….and then this post popped out.

    I feel kinda better to know that there are people feeling like me. I miss God so much, I participate in God’s works everyday, except for Monday and Saturdays; I have his words right beside me, I have a bunch of gospel music, I spread the gospel even when I am on the bus, my life is filled with things about Him. Everyday, once I open my eyes, the first thing I think of is him, before I go to bed, I have to talk to him first! Some people think I am crazy because they see me so filled with the life of God.

    But times like this very moment, I just feel like comming to my knees and begging him to reveal himself to me, to let me not only read, hear, talk, about him, but to really HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH HIM. I know he hears me when I pray, but I don’t feel him now. It’s like he’s getting far from me….and I miss him so much….I wanna hug him right now, I wanna hear him speak, I wanna hear it with my own ears…

    Oh God, what can I do? What should I do that my cries will reach you? Father, have I done anything wrong? Father, you said you would never leave me! I want you NOW!!!! Father, where are you? Where in the universe are you? Father, I MISS YOU, like never before….Father, tell me, where can I go, that I may find you? What is it that I must do to catch hold of you? When is it that I can hear your beautiful voice and see your beautiful face??? Father, I don’t wanna play anymore, I am tired….I am running….I don’t know what to do….Father, do you hear me? Father, I won’t give up, NEVER, until I find you, I am RUNNING AFTER YOU!!!

    Thanks for posting this, at least I can let out some of me over here. I don’t know about this site, so if anyone wants to reply me or anything, you can just e-mail me at sabrinajctan@gmail.com.

    God bless evryone!!!

  9. I’m so much touched by the post.

    There were times i wanted god to be so real in life though i know He always loved me and i believed He was with me .at times the thirst becomes so deep that i just don know what to pray or what to do.
    I want to become one with Jesus , the blessed Nazarene. It was like ; i’m so thirsty and i need a full glass of water, and some one just gave me drop of it. Neither can i say i’d water nor my thirst is quenched. I stil believe , the desire to know him more is given by Him only , so I’m waiting, and waiting