Why Did God Abandon Me When I Needed Him Most?

Now that we are in recovery and trying to get to know God, sometimes we can’t help looking back on the darkest days of our addiction—the days when we had never felt more alone—and wondering where God was when we needed Him most.

We prayed and pleaded and yet we only sank deeper into addiction. Some of our lives are still a shambles as a result. Where was God? Why didn’t He help? Why didn’t He rescue? Some of us landed in jail, the hospital or rehab. We’ve lost our belongings, our assets and maybe even our most important relationships. Where was the God who saves?

The Importance Of Bottom

If we look back at our lives, especially our road to addiction, we can see there may have been times when God was trying to call us away from the danger, when He was trying to remind us of the way He wanted us to live.

Why Did God Abandon Me When I Needed Him Most-christiandrugrehab.comWe heard those nagging voices, and then we poured another drink to drown them out. We didn’t think there was any other way to live life—especially one that had become as unmanageable as ours. We knew it was wrong, but we didn’t want to change. We had our own ideas, we wanted to exercise our own free will. And God—neither a policeman nor puppeteer—let us.

So we did. And we got worse, and the voice of God grew softer and softer such that we didn’t hear it at all. We drank more to drown that painful silence. In our agony, we cried out. We wanted a divine, miraculous deliverance, but we still weren’t willing to change or get help.

Until things got so bad there was no other choice. We saw that we were completely powerless, completely desperate. If we were to live, we had no other option than to accept the help being offered to us through the 12 steps. We had hit bottom.

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus. Acts 3:19-20

God Doesn’t Abandon Us

Though God may be “silent” for a period of time, the truth is that He never leaves or forsakes us—no amount of sin or wrongdoing can drive God from us or cancel out His love for us. We are God’s beloved creations. At different points in our lives, we may not feel the presence of God so strongly. But as we often hear in the 12-step rooms: “If God feels far away, who moved?”

When we delve deeper into God’s character as revealed in Scripture, we learn that God is not a God who abandons His people—even when they disobey or commit evil. God doesn’t leave us either. Though, as noted above, He may “leave us to our own devices” for a period of time.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16

The Purpose Is Good

We may suffer gravely in this time of “silence,” but it doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or doesn’t care. The suffering has a purpose—He is leading us back. What we come to see is that we actually want God. Whereas once we had been avoiding God so that we could do things our own way, we come to realize we desire His presence and His leading. Rather than feeling imprisoned by the call to obedience and holiness, we feel refreshed by it. We become more ready to understand and experience suffering without doing anything to medicate, mask or escape. In faith, we know God is there and that He is there for us.

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

God Is With You On This Journey

The journey of recovery, though always better than our days in addiction, is not without challenge and real struggle. God has not promised us smooth sailing, but He has promised His presence, His love and His power. Believing we are the recipients of grace, we greet each new, sober day with boldness. And we begin to see that God feels closer when we take the time to get still, to read His Word, to pray and to meditate. This keeps us centered in the truth of His presence, and it helps keep us sober, too.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

See The 7 Ways Christians In Recovery Can Draw Nearer To God!