God’s Vanishing Touch

R. J. had a physical and mental condition resulting in loss of feeling. He was a college mate struggling to make the grade. I distinctly remember him coming to a midwinter class with no shoes. Loss of touch created many dangerous situations for him.

I’ve known others who because of diabetes or other medical conditions had limited or no sense of feeling. Through touch we feel sensations, and these send messages to our brain resulting in action. Touching a hot surface causes my brain to shout: “Move your hand.” Stepping on something sharp results in: “Pick up your foot.” Without these sensations and messages, I might endanger life or limb.

David requested God not to remove him from his presence or take his Spirit from him. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11 NLT). He-and all of us, have the potential of feeling God’s vanishing touch. While I can’t actually touch God inside me, like David I can feel his presence. Losing God’s touch was a disturbing possibility for him, and it is for me too.

I enjoy touch. Caressing my wife’s hair. Feeling a friend’s arms in an “I haven’t seen you in so long” embrace. Feeling the soft coat on our freshly showered pooch. Rubbing my fingers across the smooth surface of a stone plucked from a cold mountain stream. Caressing the dirt of a freshly plowed field. Seeing is certainly a plus, but viewing the above without experiencing the sensation of touch would immensely decrease the episode’s enjoyment.

Nor can I imagine the possibility of God’s vanishing touch. Losing the feel of his presence I so relish when I need a word of guidance. Not feeling his comfort when life takes a nosedive. Or losing the touch of his drying my tears after receiving tragic news. More importantly, not feeling the constant assurance I’m his child and can never be separated from his love.

Prayer: Merciful Father, may we ever feel Your eternal presence, especially during the times when we need assurance we are loved and safe.

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