Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Separation Anxiety

happy dog with a happy couple
Author Biography

    Benjamin Brittain has been an International Disaster Relief Operations Coordinator with Operation Blessing for 5 months. He enjoys a good cup of coffee, playing tennis, and going on adventures with his wife.

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Benjamin Brittain - International Disaster Relief Coordinator

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

My wife and I adopted a puppy last year, an energetic little ball of fluff we named Winston. He was generally happy and content when we were around, but when we inevitably had to leave the house, he would burst into a fit of anxiety-ridden barks and whines. It was almost as if he thought we were leaving him and never coming back! But as Winston grew older and has seen us always come back for him, his separation anxiety lessened, and he is now nowhere near as stressed as he used to be when we leave.

Just like Winston, I believe we can experience a similar spiritual version of “separation anxiety.” Sometimes it can feel as if God is far away from us, and we are left on our own to deal with the hard things of life. Or maybe when we pray, it feels as if God does not hear our requests. This can be frustrating and discouraging.

But whereas my wife and I have to leave our dog from time to time, God never once leaves us! He is always present, even when it does not feel like it. How can we know this? Moses declared to Israel in Deuteronomy 31:8 that “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.” And in Matthew 28:20, Jesus reminds His disciples before He ascends to Heaven, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Look again at the first verse in Romans 8 and be encouraged! There is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. Do you believe this?

So then why might God’s presence feel distant in your life? One reason could be that although God has not moved, you have stepped away from Him. Examine your heart; is there anything in your life that is keeping you from having a right relationship with Jesus? If so, repent and then “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Remember that you are “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

If you are walking rightly with Jesus and are still not feeling His presence, it may simply be the spiritual season God has you in. Don’t let this discourage you; be encouraged that the Lord says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, ESV). You can also find reassurance in the Holy Spirit, who dwells within you (John 14:15-17). With this in mind, do not be filled with separation anxiety, but, rather, seek God and trust that He is always with you!

Jesus, thank You that You see me, know me, and are always with me. Thank You that Your presence is not dictated by my perception of it. Show me sin in my life that is keeping me from experiencing the best relationship with You. Give me a heart of repentance and confidence to know that nothing can separate me from Your love. Amen.


Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.

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