Darlene Osborne, Publisher
Your Place for Christian Articles
by L.Joy Douglas
I look, seek, hunt, search
But I don’t find You here.
I cannot find You in the day
Or in the dark.
Far below, or on the mountaintops.
In the silence or the chaos.
If I stay or travel wide,
In my own power
I cannot find You.
But perhaps, it’s not where I find You.
Instead, it’s where You find ME.
Come swiftly, Shepherd!
Do you ever feel lost? Does it seem that no matter how hard you try or how long you search, you just can’t feel God’s presence anywhere? That is how it has been for me the past few weeks. I hear myself offering encouragement and council to hurting friends, but the words ring hollow when I attempt to apply them to my own life.
The Bible has so many passages that speak of finding God. Matthew 7:7 says “Seek and ye shall find.” Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” In Proverbs 8:17 we read, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”
If Scripture indicates repeatedly that we will find Him, why does connection with the Almighty seem so elusive at times? In examining my own struggle, I think there is a one word answer that explains a lot. Distractions. How many times have we sat down with a friend to pray and ended up chatting about kids, husbands, jobs, fashion, diets, etc.? How often do we sign on to the web to read our daily devotional and end up scrolling through Facebook? Are we meditating on Scripture during the Sunday sermon or playing a candy smashing game and wondering what to make for lunch?
On the surface, it may appear that we are doing all the right things spiritually. But are we truly seeking after God with our entire being? Are we focusing only on Him with complete devotion? Is our desperation centered on desiring Him above all else, or is the focus on ourselves and wanting to lessen the pain we are experiencing?
I, for one, am so easily distracted! Of course, I don’t feel Him when I care more about myself than what He wants for me. It may not seem like selfishness, but if the drive is toward what makes me more comfortable, it truly is self-centered. Self-focus of any kind is a major distraction and will always hinder the search for God.
The Bible doesn’t say, “Ease your pain and make yourself feel better or more comfortable, and you will know God more deeply.” No. It tells us to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” THEN…all these things will be added. The bottom line is, look to Jesus and only Him above all else. He will intervene and begin to do the work we so desperately need.
And once we have done that, if we still feel weak and lost, he will come rushing in like a Shepherd to rescue a lamb. Search for Him first and He will find us where we are!
Father, forgive me for masking selfishness with spirituality. Clear the chaos and remove the focus from my own comfort. Draw my heart to You and Your will for my life so that I will feel Your presence in every situation. Amen.
© L. Joy Douglas