At 6:30 a.m. Easter morning 2011, my wife rushed me to the hospital because i was having chest pains and could not catch my breath. When we got out of the car and I walked towards the hospital emergency room, I looked up at the rainy cloudy sky, and felt...nothing.
I did not sense the Holy Spirit. I didn't "feel" Jesus. it was if my faith had suddenly died and I was left alone, and I truly thought I was going to die that day.
My wife dropped me off because she had to find a parking space. The nurse immediately put me into a room to see the doctor, and for the 5 minutes I waited in that hospital room alone, I had what I think others have called "a crisis of faith".
I simply could not "find Jesus". I felt empty. My mind immediately began bringing up all those stories we read about how other Christians have been in similar situations, who tell about seeing angels, hearing the voice of God, being comforted, and I thought "what is wrong with me?"
And right at that moment, I called out to Jesus in my misery and I remember distinctly saying out loud:
"Jesus, I don't know what is wrong with me, but I choose to believe in You. I choose to believe You died for me and that You are here next to me. Please forgive my lack of faith and I beg You Holy Spirit to comfort me. I will never forsake You. But I feel nothing and I'm so scared."
You see, after not sleeping for almost 3 days, having multiple health problems all converge at once, my body was shot. In that moment I had to make a decision not based upon how I "felt" at the time. Eight hours later, back home after multiple tests, MRI's, CAT scans, you name it, back home in bed, all the "feelings" came back.
Jesus HAD been there all along. Peace flowed though my body as I finally was able to drift off to sleep. My body had been so weak and battered that the "physical" me was not in sync with the "spiritual" me.
I write this because there may be some of you on the forum who don't "feel" Jesus today. While you have been faithful to Him, for some reason, your faith doesn't seem real right now. But I want you to know that it happens to almost everyone. Sometimes our earthly minds get out of sync with our spiritual selves and we cannot live our Christian lives based on feelings alone.
We have a secure and true faith. Christianity is fact based. Christ truly rose from the dead in history and Jesus is real whether we happen to "feel" Him today or not.
If you are struggling with doubt of any kind, if you feel like you are being "fake" because you don't "feel" your Christian experience like someone else, do not be discouraged! It too shall pass.
I don't think we realize just how frail and weak our physical bodies are. Look at Peter at the last supper. When Jesus told Him that He would deny Him three times, Peter laughed it off. Of COURSE, he would never deny his Lord.
But hours later, on the cold night our Lord was arrested and put on trial, a worn out, scared Peter acted in the flesh and denied his Lord. But Jesus knew ahead of time he would, and Jesus told Peter that He had prayed for him in advance. For Peter was God's child, forever, and Jesus knew that once Peter was in his right mind again, he would lead thousands to Christ and eventually die a martyr for his faith.
All of us have a choice when we find ourselves in that "i don't feel anything" position. We can give up, admit defeat, or we can CHOOSE to believe on the Lord Jesus. Even if the feelings are not there, we can be obedient to Christ by choosing to have faith that Jesus IS there and that He will work everything out for our good!
I have had so many blessings since that day a year ago. Jesus has made Himself real to me in thousands of ways. I can't explain exactly why, on that particular day, I did not "feel" my faith. But I pushed through it and came out the other side with a stronger faith.
Do not be discouraged! If you are struggling with that "nothing" feeling from time to time...it is normal. Not all of us can be a "super" Christian who never has a bad day. Most of us have our highs and our lows. The most important thing is that we make a decision to hold on Jesus, whether the feelings are there or not. It makes all the difference.