In My Father’s Study

Published on August 14, 2012 by CT in Blog, Thoughts


There’s this thing we do as Christians, when other Christians ask us how our relationship with God is going, and we often answer in terms of how much time we’ve spent reading our Bibles or praying.  If we’ve had a good stretch of devotional time, we say things are going pretty well.  If we’ve been neglecting our devotions, we say things could be better.

I suppose it’s only natural to think in these terms.  We live in a tangible world, and we use our sense of touch, and taste, and smell, and hearing, and sight to know and experience all the things that we consider to be real.  But we also believe in a God we cannot touch, or taste, or smell, or hear, or see, at least not anymore, and not in the same sense as the world we know as real.  And the one thing we can touch is His Word, and the one thing we can hear is our prayers, so we hold on to those tightly.

I was talking with a friend recently who asked me how my relationship with God was going, and I told him this:

It’s been OK.  I mean, I’m still reading my Bible a bit, but it’s mainly to try to keep up on a reading plan.  And I do pray throughout the day, asking God for help in things or praying when people come to mind.  But I don’t think that’s really what you’re asking.

The real truth is that I feel disconnected from God, like something’s just a little off.  It seems to me like God is waiting in my study, and I’m hanging out by the doorway, talking a bit, or passing by and nodding.  But I’m not going in to sit and talk and be with Him.

I know it’s a silly picture, but there is a difference between reading and praying in the doorway and reading and praying in the study.  I guess in the latter that I want to be there, because that’s where my Father is, and I love being with Him.  So pray for me, that I would go on in more often, and if you find yourself leaning on the door post, go on in as well.  There’s room for both of us.

Question:  How’s your relationship with God going?

  • JB

    Good stuff…  thanks,.

  • Deirdre Tolhurst

    Hi Chris!  So good to have you back.  I also am in this state lately.  I feel unworthy, and although I will journal to the Lord or talk to Him, I don’t wait for Him to respond.  I haven’t figured it out yet, but I assume the enemy is at the root of it all.  In God’s eyes, we ARE worthy!  And to Him we are beautiful warriors and He misses us when we don’t stay awhile, but He waits nonetheless.  Remember how you CRAVED Him?  I think you still do.  Your life has changed a lot in the last year and a half, and perhaps your mind is still on the differences from before.  He will get you through it, you just have to let Him!  I believe with all my heart that God smells, touches, tastes, sees and hears only with a beauty we can not comprehend in this corrupt body.  I will pray for you as you for me that we pass through this time of complacency quickly and run back into the arms of the Savior who died for us!  Stop in and have a seat, He misses us!  And please feel free to visit my blog, I would be honored if you did!  God bless you, Chris, Deirdre (

  • Derek Wolmarans

    I guess the question is why we don’t go in always. I think with myself it is the case that too often, the lounge has the TV, the kitchen has the food (and the coffee), and the bedroom has my bed. These are all easy rooms that provide instant gratification, while the study requires a bit of commitment to get the reward. But boy is the reward good! I think we sometime shy away from proper community with God because we feel it is hard work and delayed gratification, but when I do walk in and take a seat, I find the leather chairs comfotable, two cups of coffee waiting and a warm fire in the fireplace. I know from my side I too often doubt whether God wil “show up”.  

    • Chris Tomlinson

      Derek, I think you’ve landed on the two things, at least to me, that weigh mostly heavily here.  The first is that things other than God seem like they will satisfy more than He will.  And the second is a lack of faith.  What happens if I commit myself fully to God and then He’s not there?  What will that mean for my faith? 
      I suppose wading is always safer than jumping in because there’s less to lose.  But we’re probably better off walking away or jumping in (Rev 3:16).  And we both know enough to know that, as you say, the reward is good!

      May we jump in, and may God show up in a way that satisfies our deepest (and most pressing) needs.  And thanks for your thoughtful and encouraging words!

  • Scott Branham

    CT – thanks for the convicting reminder of what it really means to spend time with the Father. I know in our own time together, we’ve both talked about how – with so many great blessings in both our lives – we still enjoy sitting down in quality conversation as much or more than anything. So why don’t we feel as passionate about sitting down in good conversation with God and really learning about each other? Your tangibility perspective of the relationship is spot on as being a roadblock, but if we think of Him in the context of a pen pal who we also can’t see, feel, or touch, excitement will inevitably come by taking the time to write our Old Friend a letter letting him know how life is going and where we can use His support, advice, and intervention. I have gone back to writing in a journal recently and have founded it very helpful and encouraging. I challenge you to give it a shot for the month of September; something tells me you have a few blank scraps of paper tucked away in that study.