"The biggest problem we face in the Christian life," said Dr. Cynddylan Jones, a famous Welsh preacher, "is distance." He continued: "The only way that distance can be overcome is by having the perspective of Job who said: 'Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.'" When I talk to counselors in training I tell them that what they should be listening for as a counselee tells his or her story is distance. That's what underlies most problems that bring people into counseling. This does not mean we should ignore or make light of the surface problems with which people may be struggling. But the plain fact is this -- when we are close to God and have a deep and intimate relationship with Him, we may feel downcast but not destroyed. Therefore, every Christian counselor's ultimate goal should be to close any distance there may be between the person and God, and to develop spiritual oneness. Counseling is not effective or complete until this is accomplished. How does distance come between ourselves and God? There are many causes -- bitterness and resentment against another, persistent sin, failure to establish a devotional life -- but largely it arises through a lack of trust. If you cut your way through the maze of human problems that's what you find -- an inability to trust. That's what happened in the Garden of Eden, and that's what happens in our personal Garden of Eden also. To try to develop a close relationship with God and fail to deal with this most basic issue is about as effective as building a skyscraper on an acre of sand.
O God, I see so clearly that although there are many things that bring about distance between You and me, the most basic is lack of trust. Help me settle this issue once and for all over the next few days. In Christ's Name I pray. Amen.
For Further Study
1. When does God come near to us?
2. How should we draw near to God?