Raft Part 1 by Robin Densmore Fuson
Tired of feeling abandoned?
Do you feel God is far away? Are your prayers hitting the ceiling? Do you cry out with no answering voice?
I’ve felt that way too and the silence was deafening. Loneness and aloneness seemed to isolate me. People around me appeared to be in sync with the Father while I felt bereft of His closeness. How had this happened? Where was His still small voice?
In the middle of the ocean on a calm sea sat a raft with me the sole occupant. No oars. No wind. No land in sight. Adrift and alone, I waited. After my husband died, this was the existence of my spiritual life. For months and months, the raft held me but didn’t take me anywhere. No direction and no voice came from heaven. In despair, I almost wished for rain and thunder to feel something.
Praying and reading His Word. Listening and begging. Crying and grasping for answers to only find my hand empty. Where was God? Why didn’t He hear me? Why didn’t He answer my plea?
David, in the book of Psalms, often asked the same questions. Psalm 22:1 NKJV says, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me and from the words of my groaning?” Yes, he got it. My plea mirrored David’s.
One day in my prayer, my focus shifted and I thought back over my Christian walk. Instead of looking inward to my immediate need, I focused on Him and His proven character. When I stopped to remember, my groaning prayers slowly turned to praise. He had always proven to be faithful. Throughout my life, the Father had talked to me. He had answered my prayers and spoken encouragement through His words and He had used others to minister to me. I wasn’t alone. There were markers in my past to show me the times He had been there for me.
David also turned his prayers of anguish into praise. In the next Psalm, 23, David says, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.” His focus went to the Lord and praise became easy. He remembered what the Lord had done for him.
When you feel abandoned, remember who God is and what He has done for you. When I turned my focus to Him, a gentle breeze blew my raft toward a distant shore. As I moved, I praised Him more. Soon, I stepped out of the raft and walked with Him on dry ground.
During my “raft” experience, God hadn’t left me. He worked behind the scenes on my behalf. He made plans that came alive for me. He worked out small and significant things for my life. What an amazing God He is. Although I felt He was silent. He still worked. He was still holding me. The “raft” was His hand holding me and protecting me while I processed the loss of my husband and learned my new identity as a single woman, a widow. I needed the quiet. The healing time. The alone time. A time to turn my focus to Him and praise Him in the quiet.
When you feel alone, abandoned, or afraid, turn your thoughts to the only One who has already proven faithful and is working even when you don’t hear or see Him working. He never slumbers and never sleeps. (Psalm 121:3-4 NKJV)
So take heart. Rest in the knowledge that the Father is working on your behalf all the time, even when you don’t know it. Lean in and wait. Relax in your “raft” and praise Him in the quiet, knowing He is holding you.