What if God doesn’t show up?

Because sometimes when you’re in that place where the salt rubs, where the ache is real, where numbness seems like a better option, it’ll get better isn’t what you need to hear. Hang in there isn’t what you need to hear.

Sometimes more than you need to hear anything you need to see something real.


I sat there on the couch in the quiet, picking at the small, threadbare spot in the blue slipcover.

Frayed, I thought. I’m frayed. And a little afraid.

It’s not often we let ourselves go into the space where we’re silent and vulnerable with our deepest fears, deepest desires, deepest hurts. It’s even rarer that we put ourselves in that space on purpose.

Maybe it’s because we’re afraid to fully see our frayedness.

Maybe it’s just plain easier to be distracted.

Or maybe it’s because we’re scared that when we finally sit still and put it all out there, God won’t show up. And if we lay it all out, and He doesn’t show up to rush into that space, will our emotions overwhelm us?

Discomfort is a feeling we don’t really love.

But rawness and rejection are feelings we avoid at pretty much any cost.

This weekend, I got to meet a new friend who’s been walking some hard roads. We talked for a few minutes here and there before she sat down beside me at one point and said quietly, “I really want it. I know God’s there. But I just can’t seem to get it.”

The “it” was peace.

But she was afraid if she sat still, unbearable emptiness would gnaw at her frayed soul rather than peace rushing in and putting it back together.

It’s a valid fear. I don’t know that most of us haven’t felt that way before. Because what if it takes more than once? What if the first time we open our souls to the silence, it feels like salt in our wounds? What if it still does the second time? And the third time?

But what if, in order to really know God, that’s what we have to do? What if we have to face ourselves honestly and devote time to tune our hearts to want God more than anything else? What if we have to be willing to keep stepping into that silent space and tell Him we’re ready and willing to lay down the things we want — all of it — if we can get all of Him in return?

And that if the cost is a little discomfort, we still want Him.

And if the cost is all of ourselves, if it’s anything and everything, we still want Him.

It’s not easy. But it’s worth it.

As I sat beside my friend this weekend, all I could think to say back was … it’s real. It’s real, and it’s worth it.

Because sometimes when you’re in that place where the salt rubs, where the ache is real, where numbness seems like a better option, it’ll get better isn’t what you need to hear. Hang in there isn’t what you need to hear.

Sometimes more than you need to hear anything you need to see something.

And that something is what real peace from Jesus looks like when it’s smashed across someone’s face, across someone’s life.

I remember when I was in that place where silence meant salt-rubbing, the only thing that made me sit still, read the Bible and keep asking God to show me who He really was at any cost was that I saw some people who really loved Jesus … people who wore it a lot differently than I did.

I didn’t know how to get it. I didn’t know what it would feel like.

But I knew it had to feel different, or they wouldn’t be so different.

I knew it had to be real.

And that meant I could have it too.

I was driving somewhere the other day with another friend and talking about how easy it is for us to distract ourselves and not ever sit still, even when we know doing it is worth it.

And she said this:

“It’s such a hard thing to make ourselves do sometimes, especially when we’re not in the habit. But it really does make such a difference. And if you think about it, God is smart in the way He rigged this. Good things always take work and sacrifice, so why should the best thing we can have not take everything we have?”

She’s right.

It’s real, but it’s not easy.

It’s free, but it costs everything.

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

It starts in the quiet of our hearts with the whisper of His truth … the silence of our surrender … then the roar of His peace.

He’ll show up.

He always does.


i dont wait anymore

And that’s the story told in “I Don’t Wait Anymore” the book … how the best things are worth our whole lives, and how God is worth so much more than our dreams.

Are you ready to let go? Or at least ready to think about it?

His story’s just waiting for you to reach out and grab it.

Now at Barnes & Noble and other retailers. Check it out here.

5 Comments on “What if God doesn’t show up?

  1. I’m wondering if I’ve just grown tired of waiting…or if I’m too depressed and/or discouraged..or am I just sinfully lazy at this point.
    Been waiting for a long long long time.
    I have studied, prayed, worshipped, soaked, been prayed for, gone to “healing” sessions and retreats, for over 30 years. What’s a girl…older woman now, gotta do?
    Of course, at times I have felt
    God’s presence and mercy but overall I find myself feeling very apart from his provision for the challenges in my life. I have been ill with somewhat mysterious conditions, have sought many alternative doctor’s as well as traditional, eaten properly, (have a degree in Natural health), yet everyday I feel like I havethe flu and am in pain from head to toes. I have cery little help, am not able to be out ofbedformore thanafew hours per day. Whenyou are chronically ill, you don’t have the energy to maintain friendships, and eventually find yourself without many. Now, I feel so discouraged, I have lost my “fight”. I have lost my desire to keep pressing in. I am tired, and sick, and do jot sense God in my life. So I am left with the guilt of Christians just counseling that I need to “press in” etc, etc. Ok, so nothing changes for 30 years? How can anyone be sick for 30 years, wake up sick amd in pain every day, and keep the faith. Not easy! Where are
    You God. Why would you want me to keep
    Suffering. If ine more person teel me about Joni, I’ll puke! I think she probably has people around that assist her with her daily needs and chores, right? Maybe that helps a bit, whenyou havean “obvious” disability. Chronic invisable disabilities don’t generally draw helpers..it is tough.I used to be more faith filled..I’ve been slowly beaten downbylife and pain and lost hope.

    • Hi, Ruth – thanks for your honesty. I’m going to send you an email in just a few minutes, if that’s OK. I really appreciate you writing!

  2. Grace I just want to say how much of a blessing you are. I got to know your blog while searching for the poem you wrote of the same title. And since that time I have seen over and over again how your honesty has inspired me in my walk with the Lord. I’ve learned to struggle the right way, to be challenged the right way. To know that to be human means going through these fleshly emotions. It’s how we respond, how we deal with the struggle that makes all the difference. You’ve taught me that Christianity is not about showing the world that we’ve got it all under control and pretend. It doesn’t mean we beat ourselves up for feeling weak. What it does mean is a dependency on Jesus that compares to none. That He would be our first turn leaving and baring all before Him. To really know what it means in His word when He said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Grace, when I pre-ordered your book, I was at a high point in my life in my first relationship. When I finally got your book in May, I was at my lowest, my relationship turning into an idol in my heart. God knew my friend. He sees our days ahead and He is always on time. I have never met you although that would be a great thing to but I’ve never felt His love more than now… God knew I needed to hear your story. All your struggles, challenges, the pain you felt through the many events that occurred in your life. They are sending a ripple effect across the nations. They are all for a time such as now. God never promised a pain free life. He has only promised Himself for us. That is the theme of what I am learning to speak into my life. I am a child of God and this God loves me. I am pressed to know Him more. I really love how Paul puts it. “For I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Thank you for pointing us back to the gospel. Richest blessings dear sister 😊 May you have a deeper revelation of who Christ is.

      • Hey there, sister. You’re right. This God loves you. I’m glad you feel Him pursuing you and are putting your life into chasing Him back! Praying for you this morning, that in this low point you’ll keep feeling pressed to know Him more and that He will fill your heart up with more of Himself all the time. I’m glad you wrote. :)

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