You were on the road to intimacy with the Lord, and you were greatly encouraged by the progress. The sense of His presence was unmistakable. You prayed and found your time with Him sweet. His peace was near. You looked forward to being in the congregation of those who love Him too, and the worship and preaching of the word brought you strength and wellness. You’ve been here before, it feels great, but sustaining the effort to remain close always proves too much. The drift is subtle, but because it’s familiar it’s recognizable. Soon you’re not where you used to be, and the the thought of getting back causes the exhaustion to return. It will be a long walk home.
The longer you are away in conscience fellowship with the Lord, the farther you feel from Him. Discouragement settles in because of the perceived distance and the prospect of the long journey back. You are further discouraged by the fear and distrust of yourself to stay the course throughout the return trip. The thought of the exhausting labor and discipline it takes to make up lost ground and lost time, just to get back to where you were, dampens your resolve to get moving. The struggle keeps you feeling isolated and alone, until familiarity finally gives way to comfort in your lostness.
Oh what a graceless picture this is. In Christ there is a better picture. Because of Christ, if you turn there is no journey back to God. There is no lost ground to be made up. The distance is only perceived because we wrongly assume we are pursuing Him. But it is He who pursues. If while you were yet a sinner, and God moved toward you to reconcile you to Himself, how much more, having been reconciled, will He remain close. Home is where the Lord is, and the Lord is with you. Just turn and you will find Him there. For the one who promised is faithful.