If you have ever been a parent, you were thrown into the wonderful world of child development. Whether or not you realize it, you have become a full time specialist in parenting your children. As part of my studies in college, I took some child development courses and I have to admit that when we were going over infancy I wasn't all that engaged. I learned what I needed to learn; however, when I became a parent all that information began to resurface and I understood first hand how interesting babies really are. Babies love having interaction with other babies, children, and adults. In fact, they really do believe the world centers around them. They are interested in their environment, but it is in relation to how their environment affects them. Because of their stage of development this also means that if it is out of sight, it is out of mind. If they don't see it, it doesn't exist in that moment. This is what eventually develops into separation anxiety. If they cannot see mom or dad, the baby immediately thinks they are gone. Mom or dad could even be in the same room, but if the baby didn't look in their direction their immediate instinct is to believe they are gone. Playing games like "peek-a-boo" helps develop understanding that something still is present even if it is out of our view.
I think we can be a like an infant in our spiritual development, too. I think that when we are used to experiencing God in a certain way and finding Him in a certain place we experience separation anxiety. We can assume that God abandoned us right when we needed Him. However, God doesn't want us to stay infants in our walk with Him. He wants us to grow and thrive and become the person He created us to be. So we need to seek Him when we don't find Him where we usually experience Him. He wants us to experience Him in new places and be aware of His presence everywhere. When we remember that He is near and always cares, we can have peace - even on the days when we just don't seem to find Him. Just because we didn't find Him doesn't mean He isn't there.
Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV) says, "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." We can trust Him with everything; He is near even if we don't see or feel Him. The Lord is near and we can give Him everything...everything.
Do you trust the Lord is near?
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday.