I’m going to admit it, I have a hard time with being a “conditional Christian”, as I like to call it. Meaning that I’m only really diving into my faith and Jesus when I need something from him. It’s not on purpose, I just get extremely swept up in day-to-day life and I forget about the relationship I’m supposed to be creating and maintaining with him, quite honestly because I can’t physically see him.
In being a conditional Christian for basically all of my life, I’ve questioned if Jesus was there from time to time. I’ve also gotten upset with Jesus for “not being there” when I thought he should have been, but I couldn’t feel it.
Recently, I decided to start doing my daily devotional journal again. I’d stopped and started a million times before because I couldn’t keep a habit to save my life – but I’ve done a lot of growing and enforcing routines since then, so I figured that it was an attainable goal this time. I also decided to start sharing the devotionals on Instagram to help others, but mainly to keep me accountable.
Anyway, I read something a couple of days ago that I will never forget. It was the answer to why I felt like Jesus wasn’t there. I’ll get to that in a minute, but I have a few things that I want to share first. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years as a conditional Christian:
1. Jesus is patient, kind, and loving – and he will always welcome you back in with open arms. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how long you’ve been gone, he’s going to forgive and love you anyway.
2. A relationship with Jesus is like a relationship with one of your friends. Yes, he is Jesus – but the relationship concepts are the same. You will receive the effort that you put in. You will grow closer, but only if you spend more time together. You won’t always see eye-to-eye, but that doesn’t mean that you will stop caring for one another.
3. Just because you are having a hard time, doesn’t mean that Jesus isn’t there. Jesus doesn’t always give you what you want, but he gives you what you need. And you may not realize his purpose (or what you need) in that moment – but you have to learn that he always has a plan. Think about every hard situation you have ever been through – hasn’t at least one good thing come out of it? I can promise you, at the very least, that you left the situation stronger than you went into it.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten those things out of the way – here is the key thing to ask yourself when you feel like Jesus isn’t there: Have you been actively pursuing him?
The more you pursue Jesus and search for him in everyday life, the more that you will feel his presence and be reminded of him. The more you seek him out, the more you will understand what he is doing in your life. Jesus is always there, rooting and working for you behind the scenes.. But if he isn’t even on your radar until the second that you need him, of course it’s going to feel like he isn’t or hasn’t been there! It’s because you haven’t really let him be there for you and your emotions – because you haven’t opened up a conversation with him, or maybe even thought about him.
The more you actively try to think about things, the more they will stay on your mind. The deeper you dive into your relationship with him, the stronger your connection will be. But just like any other relationship, you have to be willing to put your time, energy, and care into that person. So if you feel like Jesus hasn’t been there, start trying to grow that connection with him. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’re interested in getting the accountability and reminder to pursue your relationship with Jesus on a regular basis – follow my Instagram (@carmenreynolds) where I share my devotionals every day. Steal them and use them as the prompts to get a jumpstart or maintain your relationship with him!