Sometimes Christ feels distant. Doesn’t He? All through our lives, we face trials and difficulties and we wonder where He is through all of it. Why don’t we feel stronger than we do? Why are things so difficult if Christ cares about us so much?
Now before we get too far down the “Christ doesn’t care about me” rabbit hole, let’s hit pause on those thoughts right now.
Christ does care. Even if He doesn’t seem to be helping you, even if He isn’t obvious in your life – He still cares. He loves you in this exact moment that you’re reading this blog post, He’s loved you in every moment before, and He’ll love you in every moment after.
Even when this is hard to believe, I promise that it’s true – His love has not and will not fail you.
But that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes we don’t see Him acting in our lives. So for those times when Christ isn’t obvious in your life, I’ve made a list of things you can do to see Him anyway. But first, let’s talk for a minute about why Christ might seem distant in your life.
Why Christ Might Seem Far Away
There are a few reasons Christ might seem distant. Let’s hit on a couple of the big ones.
First, there may be something in your life that needs to change. It’s hard to feel Christ close to you when you’re doing things that block His Holy Spirit from reaching you. The important thing to remember here is that you can always change. We all make mistakes and we all have these moments when we need to let go of things that take us away from Christ. But all we have to do is repent and choose to return to Him, and He’ll embrace us like the prodigal son.
Second, if Christ feels distant, maybe you aren’t making the effort to see Him. The fact is, being a disciple of Christ requires constant work and effort on our part. I know, it isn’t easy. And again, we all have times when we stop making much effort to be close to Christ. Those are moments when we need to check ourselves and make a course correction. Sometimes all we need to do is make the effort to look for Christ to realize how close He really is.
Third, if Christ feels distant, maybe it’s because He trusts you to make the right decisions and take the right actions without a lot of help right now. He gives us opportunities to grow in our lives, but we can’t grow if we never have to do anything on our own. Let me be clear – Christ doesn’t abandon us. But sometimes He’ll wait to give His help until after we’ve done our best efforts. So we have to keep going and trust that Christ will step in when the time is right.
What this comes down to is that when Christ feels distant, we likely need to take some sort of action to feel close to Him again. So let’s look at ways to see Him when He isn’t obvious in your life.
5 Ways to See Christ When He Isn’t Obvious
1. Evaluate Your Distractions
Let’s be honest with ourselves here – how many things in our lives distract us from Christ? I’d say a lot of things in my life distract from Christ, like my phone, TV, and endless to-do lists of things that maybe don’t matter as much as I think they do.
So sometimes we need to take a look at how we can limit those distractions. I can tell you right now that I need to do some evaluating myself and find ways to actually limit distractions. For example, I probably don’t need to carry my phone around with me 24/7. Most messages can wait until I go pick it up again. Or I could schedule out my to-do list better and not procrastinate when it’s time to do something on the list.
Personally, I think having my distractions more organized and limited would really help me be more open to Christ. The long-term goal is to have every thought be connected to Christ, as the Sacrament prayer says:
77 …that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them.Doctrine and Covenants 20:77
Eventually, as we learn to manage our distractions, it will be easier to “always remember Him” which in turn will ensure that we can see and feel Christ more in our lives.
2. Consider: Do You Believe that Christ is Involved in Your Life?
Sometimes when you get down the “Christ doesn’t care about me” rabbit hole, it’s easy to believe that He isn’t involved in your life. Or maybe you’ve been questioning other aspects of your religious beliefs, and that makes it hard to believe that Christ is actively involved in your life as well.
Maybe you hold the belief that Christ isn’t involved in your life, but haven’t realized it yet.
So take a step back and really ask yourself, “Do I believe that Christ is involved in my life?” Pray about it. Ask God if He does care and if He does help you. It may take time to see it, but I promise that God will find a way to let you know that He does love you and help you. Just make sure that you let yourself be open to His efforts to reach you.
3. Learn From the Scriptures
We all know that when we read the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the New Testament, we’re going to read accounts of Christ’s life when He was present on earth and easy to see. He’s easy to see in the stories of healing, teaching, and sacrifice.
It’s important to read those stories in the New Testament because they teach you Christ’s characteristics and mission. But the accounts of Christ in the scriptures don’t stop there.
Have you ever read about the 2000 stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon and thought, “Oh, there’s Christ.” Or read about Esther in the Old Testament, or about Cornelius the centurion in the New Testament, and seen Christ in the story?
Almost every account in the scriptures contains Christ. But sometimes He isn’t obvious in those stories. When you read an experience in the scriptures, ask yourself, “Where is Christ in this story? How is He involved?” Then see what answers you can come up with.
The more you see how Christ has been involved in the lives of other people in the scriptures, the more you’ll see Him in your own life when He isn’t obvious as well.
4. Pray for Help to See Christ in Your Life
One of the best things you can do when you’re struggling to see Christ in your life is to pray. It’s such a small and simple effort, but it shows God that you’re willing to humble yourself and ask for help.
If you’re really struggling, I suggest making special efforts to pray. Set aside a particular time and/or place where you can really focus and talk with God without interruptions and without needing to rush.
Taking the time to speak with God will remind you how much He cares about you. He’ll show you how involved He is in your life when you ask. And asking makes you more open to receiving His help as well. It’s the best way to strengthen your relationship with our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
5. Practice Asking Yourself Where He Was Today
This is a new habit you can try. At the end of each day, take a couple of minutes to think about where Christ showed up in your life today. Maybe you’ll do it as you pray, or maybe you’ll write it in your journal. Just do what works for you. But take those few moments to look for Christ each day, and you’ll see a difference in your relationship with Him.
One More Thing…
I know there’s a lot of pain in the world today. From the pandemic to loss of life to insensitivity to riots to abuse, there’s so much that hurts. I’m sure a lot of people feel that God has turned His back on us or that He’s punishing us. And I know that some people think that turning to God is a waste of time.
It’s easy to feel helpless when so much pain is around us. But, even as we look for ways to address these problems and find solutions that will bring change, let’s remember – Christ is the Prince of Peace. He’s our Savior, Redeemer, and Healer.
I 100% believe that when people turn to Christ, their lives and hearts change. I believe that Christ guides those who follow Him to bring more peace and happiness into the world. And even I know some people will reject Him, let’s do our best to put our trust in Him. To be more like Him. And to see Him even when everything around us makes us feel that He is far away.
Christ will bring the greatest change to the earth and to society. We still need to find ways to help, serve, understand, and love those around us, but if we can rely on Christ and help others rely on Christ, we’ll be doing the best service we possibly can. And we’ll open doors that will prepare the world more and more for the Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.