In my relationship with the Lord, it would seem that there has been a rough patch once again. Times are tough and the relationship doesn't seem to be growing at all. And I at once just want to know why. Why? Why? Why?
But my first reaction wasn't to look to myself. Though I did not explicitly start blaming God, by refusing to look to myself for responsibility, I implicitly said that it was the fault of the Lord that all seemed to be dead. Perhaps my feeling was just that God is not obligated to give me anything, even a solid relationship with Him, and so maybe right now, He simply isn't.
Though technically true, that God is not obligated to give His children anything, my sentiment ignores the fact that God will always want to give us an opportunity to see Him greater. Indeed, He created us so that we could enjoy Him forever.
This is a similar situation to what the Israelites found themselves in prior to the captivity. They felt their relationship with the Lord become strained. They were sacrificing and fasting, and the Lord just didn't seem to be paying any attention. It is here that Isaiah reminds them (and me yesterday morning),
"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness."
Or put more bluntly, God's merciful and willing to save you or hear your cries at any time. His ears do not become heavy ever so that he cannot hear. Instead if you are separated from God, it is your fault because of your iniquities.
That is exactly what I needed to hear. We as Christians are perfectly equipped to grow in our knowledge and intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. So when we fail to grow in that relationship, it is not because of failing on God's part, but because of our own individual sinful failure. It will always be our fault.
(Note that suffering and trials are not what is being discussed here. Not all suffering and trials are the fault of man's individual sinfulness. Enjoying God does not equate with peaceful, non-hazardous conditions; instead it equates with peace and joy in Christ in the midst of dangerous and depressing circumstances.)