We hear of the glories and goodness of the presence of God. Even if we reject that presence, it often says much less about God than our own sinful impulses.
But what about the absence of God?
In the movie The Tree of Life there is a prolonged scene featuring a sermon in the book of Job. The priest says, don’t you know the absence of God in troubled times when his back is toward you is also an experience of him? Man is but a grass, the grass is here for a short season and fades away. But the Glory of God endures and remains unchanged. His Power, Majesty, and Mystery inspires reverence. Where were you when he formed the stars? Can you show him your great works of life and creation?
In truth, the reality of God is not conjured up by piety, hard work, the keeping of certain morals, no the reality of God is constant and always present. When he feels far off, when he feels near; when we have a great experience of him, when we have never had an encounter with him. He remains one in the same.
Faith is the hope for things unseen. When we have no experience of God we must by faith seek to know him. We must pray that he would meet us and that he would give us the humility to see him for what he is.
When God feels absent, He is often very close.