A lot changes when we experience God as a real, caring person - not as an abstract idea we keep at arm's length.
It is hard to be indifferent to a person who loves us intensely . It is easy to dismiss an impersonal force that anonymously inhabits a cold universe.
There are struggles and consequences that result from experiencing God as a person. A prophet named Jeremiah once complained about God's word saying it is like a "fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones."
It is possible to replace God with other sources of love, healing and nourishment. But there will always remain an insistent echo that will never entirely leaves us alone.