There’s a compelling passage in 2 Chronicles 32:31 about a king named Hezekiah. It says that “God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.”
Many things happened when Hezekiah was king. But in this verse we’re told that God “withdrew” from him. It was a test. It was to “see what was really in his heart.”
A season came into Hezekiah’s life where he didn’t FEEL God’s nearness. That doesn’t mean God abandoned him. It means God sent a test to see how Hezekiah would act even if he didn’t feel God’s presence.
Can you relate to that feeling? I can. There are times when God simply feels close—when you can powerfully sense his nearness. But there are other times when he seems distant. When it seems like he has withdrawn from us.
I’m not saying God is testing you every time you feel that God is far away. I don’t know enough about your personal situation. But one of the things I take from this verse about Hezekiah is that not sensing God’s presence is not evidence of his absence.
It’s kind of like any other relationship. Are you loyal to a friend, partner or spouse only when you’re with them? Or are you loyal even when you’re not? Do you do the right thing only when everyone is looking, or even when you’re behind closed doors?
No matter what you FEEL… continue to pray, serve, study the Bible, love, worship, and give.
Not sensing God’s presence is not evidence of his absence.
By Matthew Ruttan