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Growing up, I didn’t have the best relationship with my Dad. Though we used to be close, the brokenness of our family genetics in combination with his crippling and unexpected illnesses caused a sudden rift.

The times once spent together in joy, quickly became a snarky remark of exchanges in which both parties were guilty. Our days of running through Walmart, filling up the cart with items we didn’t need, outgrew their childish adventure. The stability in trusting him fell apart like sand crumbling from my fingertips.

After unsuccessful surgeries, my father began to deteriorate. And to this day, he is not the Dad who raised me. Our relationship is still fragmented. It still hurts me to think about what happened to him, to us. But sometimes, I think we approach God that way.

We think about the times we felt close. The moments where our cloud nine couldn’t feel high enough. The hours we soaked in His presence. The missions we served for His glory. The songs we sang in His praise. The hearts we loved with His love.

Yet, then, someone or something steals our joy, and we are unable to see the good. We think about how far we are from God. We wonder what happened to that cloud nine. The hours we wished we’d soaked in His presence rather than our anxious state of urgency. The missions we should’ve served on when He called. The songs we sang as empty phrases with nothing left to give. The hearts we could’ve loved if we’d been brave enough to endure their cost. 

Perhaps today you feel the closest you have to our Father, and that is great! Keep seeking Him. But maybe right now, you feel like your connection is weak, your signal is fading. The relationship you once have is severed. James 4:8 in the ESV reminds us that even in our distance, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8, ESV). No one has ever cared for you like Jesus, dear friend, and no one ever will. But when you draw near to Him, He is sure to restore that link.