I lost my Bible a few mornings ago. That was weird, because one minute I was sitting in bed reading John 17, and the next minute the Bible had vanished.
I didn’t have much time to look for it, so I quickly made my bed, grabbed another Bible off the shelf, and headed out the door to class.
“I still can’t find my Bible!” I called to my roommate once I got back to my apartment after class.
“Maybe it walked away,” she called back.
I sighed. “Well, the Word is living and active…”
I searched my bookshelves, then flipped on my phone’s flashlight and checked the space between my bed and the wall. Then my roommate did the same thing while I checked under my bed and all around my desk area.
Next, we flipped back each layer of covers on my bed, because knowing my pre-caffeine brain, it wouldn’t surprise me if I had tucked it in that morning. But no luck.
While my roommate stretched out across my bed to check between the mattress and the wall one more time, I stood in the middle of my room, completely baffled. Where in the world could it have gone?
Then it hit me.
“I know where it is!” I said, mentally smacking myself in the forehead.
“Where?” My roommate asked.
“In The Drawer of Secrets.” (Note: I keep my journals, notes people have written me, and other random things in this drawer. It’s just more exciting to call it “The Drawer of Secrets” than “my nightstand drawer.”)
I walked over to my nightstand and opened the drawer. There was my Bible, waiting for me. I guess I’d stashed it in there when I put my journal away.
The mystery was solved and I was once again amazed at how I can be mid-way through a Master of Arts degree in seminary and yet I can lose my Bible before I even get out of bed in the morning. Sigh.
But the whole thing served as a reminder for me.
See, sometimes I look for evidence that God is near me, but it’s hard to find. I pray, but it feels like my words just boomerang off the ceiling. I become frustrated when God doesn’t show me what to do or where to go.
It feels like God is distant.
But the truth? God is never the one who is distant. I’m the one who strays. I’m the one who gets too busy or too distracted or too stressed out. God doesn’t say, “Whoa, this one’s a handful,” and take a step back from me. He doesn’t stop loving me or showing me He’s right here with me.
I’m the one who wanders.
Hebrews 13:5 reminds us of the promise God has given His people all throughout history:
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
That’s echoed all throughout Scripture. God’s people wander away from Him, love other things, and forget He’s right there, calling them back. Do a little digging in God’s Word and you’ll quickly begin to see God is not the one who moves away. He won’t give up on you or abandon you. He won’t decide you’re too much to handle or that you’re too deep into drama for Him to rescue.
Do you feel like God is distant? Spend time with Him. Read His Word, talk with Him, take time to sit and think about Him. Move in close to Him, and watch what He will teach you.
Just like my Bible was right where I’d put it all along, God has been right there all along, waiting for you to return to Him.
Reach out to Him. He’s right there and He loves you.