When God Pulls Back

When God Pulls Back

Recently I have started to read an older book called the Screw Tape Letters. In case you have not read this book, I highly recommend it.  In any case, there was a particular passage that stuck out as I read and it made me think.

It says

“God withdraws. He leaves the creature (human) to stand up on its own legs. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. It is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do God’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him (God) seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and stilbookl obeys.”

Until I read this passage I thought I was the only Christian in the universe that felt this way. For me when things are going good in my life, me and God are BFFs.  I am happy with Him and He is happy with me.

But then all of a sudden something goes wrong, then another thing goes wrong, then a heart wrenching hard to get over phenomena happens in our life. … So what do we do?

We pray. We pray because every time something has gone wrong, we prayed and God has come to the rescue.

We pray for a solution and we pray for things to get better, but then nothing happens. So then we pray again, and again, and again….but somehow things are getting worse, LIFE IS GETTING WORSE! Where is God?

We know from the Bible that it is impossible for God to leave or forsake us. We know that because Hebrews 13:5 says “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Since God said it, and God cannot lie, then this passage must therefore be true. So then, why when things go wrong in our life and we cannot see or feel God, do we feel that He is somehow mad at us or forsaken us?

Or at least this is how I felt. I felt that when things hit the fan, there was no solution, I could not do anything about what was happening, and God must be mad at me. I must have done something wrong.  God must be punishing me for some un-confessed sin that I do not know about.

It was not until I read this passage that I began to understand some things. There are different phases in our Christian walk.  In the beginning when God is drawing us closer to Him and allowing us to get to know Him and His ways, we can feel God.  We can hear God, and it seems that as soon as the prayer leaves our lips they are answered.  And so we fall more and more in love with God.  We think how amazing it is to be able to lean on a father that can provide us with everything we need.

I can recall when I was going through financial problems; God would find miraculous ways to provide for me. I was happy, everything was going right, and even though I had hardship my needs were always taken care of.

I began to trust God, know Him, and have a personal relationship with Him. Then something happened.  Things started to go wrong.  Family members died, I lost money, I began to get stressed, and nothing in life was working out the way it needed to.  And so like so many times before I prayed expecting God to answer, but He didn’t and I felt lost.

I wondered time and time again, why God was doing this to me? What had I done to cause him to abandon me? It was not until I read the Screw tape letters that I come to understand that God does not abandon us.  Life is going to hit and sometimes it can hit very hard.  God wants to know are you going to trust Him no matter what? Or are you going to only base your love for Him on your own “perceived” happiness?

He wants to see if all the time you spent with Him is rubbing off on you. He wants to see, if you are still going to be a Christian, even if it means that you will have to suffer and not get what you want.

This is a mind blowing phenomenon. At least for me it was. Why would I want to follow a God that is not giving me what I want?  I have come to learn that being a Christian is beyond getting from God and giving Him praise.  He wants us to trust without a shadow of a doubt that this thing called life that He has placed us in, whether it is up or down, will all work out in the end because He is with us.

Psalm 23:4 states:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Really think about this.

What is your valley of death?

Is it financial hardships, job lost, death of a loved one, a terminal illness?

What is your valley?

Because whatever you perceive the worst thing that could absolutely happen to you is, you still have no reason to fear because you know God is with you.

The valley may be dark and scary. You may not even be able to see God, but you just have to know that He is there.

I often wondered why God would do something like this to the children He loves. I think the Screw tape passage explains it perfectly.  Because God knows, that if you can go through the eye of the storm, not even flinch about the turmoil you are facing because you know there is a God, then you are pretty much invincible.



There is no earthy thing that can defeat you and through it all, it brings us closer to God. Situations like these are sometimes so hard for me to grasp.  But God ways are not our ways and trying to understand everything that He does and the reason will only lead to frustration.  I am convinced that many people have turned away from God because they based their relationship with God on how well their life was going.

So instead of looking at the hardships of life and thinking about how everything is hopeless and is about falling apart, think of it as a new level of maturity that God is trying to bring you to. He is taking off the training wheels and instead of picking you up every times your knee scraps the ground He is standing back allowing you to pick yourself up off the ground.

The great thing about God is He is satisfied with even your attempts. Even if it takes you years to get yourself up off the ground, as long as you do it, you have passed.  It is not that God does not want to be there for you, but He does not want you to stay in the infancy of Christianity forever.  We are all meant to grow in our relationships with God.  So do not fight the process and never think that God has left you.  Through the storm, there is a lesson to be learned and you will come out on top, if you can get through it, even if it means that you are crying, kicking, and screaming along the way.  Just keep going, because we have a God that gives A’s for effort.

About Sophia Reed

Sophia Reed is a single mother of one. She has a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is currently pursuing her PhD in human behavior. She enjoys mixing her education and experiences with her Christian beliefs through her blog at Therapy Counseling.


  1. Lisa Lickel says:

    I love this book. I first read it in college, and it was the first time I realized evil wasn’t the opposite of God. Amazing what we can all get out of it, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing.

Speak Your Mind