“The Lord Christ is pleased sometimes to withdraw Himself from the spiritual experience of believers; as to any refreshing sense of His love, or the fresh communications of consolatory graces. Those who never had experience of any such thing, who never had any refreshing communion with Him, cannot be sensible of His absence;– they never were so of His presence.
But those whom He hath visited,– to whom he hath given of His loves,– with whom He hath made His abode,– whom He hath refreshed, relieved, and comforted,– in whom He hath lived in the power of His grace,– they know what is is to be forsaken by Him, though but for a moment. And their trouble is increased, when they seek Him with diligence in the wonted ways of obtaining His presence, and cannot find Him.
Our duty, in this case, is to persevere in our inquiries after Him, in prayer, in meditation, mourning, reading and hearing of the Word, in all ordinances of divine worship, private and public, in diligent obedience,– until we find Him, or He return unto us, as in former days.”
-–John Owen, “Meditations and Discourses Concerning the Glory of Christ” in The Works of John Owen, ed. William Goold, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1965), Vol. I: pp. 318-19.