The Highs and Lows of Faith: Getting Past the Spiritual Crash

Photo by Dave Apple

happymuffinsnapeface asked a question:

I’ve just experienced a spiritual “high” and now I’m feeling distant again, what can I do to get closer to him?

Hey dear friend, may I just say: This is just about the number one concern I receive from Christians all over the world, so you are absolutely not alone in this. I’m there, all the time, barely hanging on — much more than I’d like to admit.

As always, the Big Christian Secret is that everyone gets distant from God; we doubt He exists; we feel far from Him through no fault of our own. We can even do all the right things to return to Him, but they might not work for a long while. The best thing is to keep doing what you’re doing and to keep believing, even if it’s with a tiny shred of faith. Keep serving, singing, praying, reading your Bible, and hanging out with Christians, even (and especially) when you don’t feel like it.

I know that “going through the motions” is vilified in the church and considered total hypocrisy. I get that. But when a preacher is telling me, “Are you really truly sincerely worshiping from the bottom of your gut?” — I just feel worse. Guilt-trips don’t jump me back into on-fire faith. Sometimes “going through the motions” is exactly what I need to get me through this desert valley. If our default setting is sin, then even the weakest movement towards God is worthy of celebrating.  And maybe feeling God is a false parameter for our faith, because faith is often about how we stay despite wanting to leave.

Do I love my wife? Yes. Do I wonder if she loves me sometimes? Yes. Does it get tough? Yes. Do I stay her husband? Of course. Marriages are not on maximum volume all the time. The highs come with the lows; it’s a roller-coaster of doubts and frustration and boundless happiness. I don’t always “feel” romantic or gushy. But the bottom line is always there, that we are married by a promise of love, and my actions for her are not ultimately determined by how I feel. In fact, my actions for her are often the doorway to feel love and loved again.

Continue reading “The Highs and Lows of Faith: Getting Past the Spiritual Crash”