“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.”
– Isaiah 55:6 –
If you are like me .. .you’re that girl who loses her phone while she is talking on it, the girl who locks her keys in her car, and the girl who can’t buy nice water bottles because she leaves them everywhere she goes … so it would make sense that you too feel at times that you have lost God. For those of us who love Jesus and know he will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 4:31) … I guess we could say we have “misplaced” Him. But in all reality we have to come to grips, look ourselves in the mirror, and say “REALLY Melissa … you know you put Him on a shelf last week and just cant remember which one”.
(At times to my detriment) I am a fixer. I pride myself on being the strong one with the Miss America smile that doesn’t fade, the one ready to push up her sleeves and take on the difficult jobs, the one you can count on no matter what … or as my brothers would call me – “mother hen”. This has gotten me pretty far in life, but a lot of times holds me back from the most important thing: listening to and searching for God. When problems come my way, I think I can see the big picture and dive into action, but what if I stopped looking a little less confident and proved to God that I really need him?
Today I am home sick, my dogs chewed a hole in my kitchen floor, my husband switched jobs (which is a blessing) but he was out of work for a few days in between so now we have a little less money this pay period and I am trying to make sure everything is paid this month, we just had the busiest week of my year at work and I feel like I am behind on my job, I’m trying to be a good step parent and get some things done for the kids but the system says that no one is allowed to talk to me about anything because I’m not a “legal guardian”, my house is a wreck, my yard needs to be raked, I am trying to run a ministry, and I have gained back 5 pounds! Today I do not have it all together. Today I do not want to be an adult! So what did I do? I would love to tell you that I got my bible out first thing to soak up God’s love and tell Him how wonderful He is … but I’m that girl who misplaces things – mainly my priorities! I threw up a little “Give me strength Lord” half a prayer/plea, spanked my dogs, checked my bank account to pay the bills, and went on Facebook to ask everyone else for prayers for health. (I can’t believe I’m telling you this lol)
Oh I have no doubt that God is in control, and He will provide, and everything will turn out just fine because He loves me … but maybe if I did a little more seeking and a lot less worrying and complaining, I wouldn’t have to wonder where God’s purpose was in all of this. Maybe that is the problem with most of us “church-kids”: we know all the bible verses and Christian quotes to tell ourselves and others but instead of repeating them over and over I should study them more in-depth to apply them to the everyday. So after my “I-can-do-it-myself” flurry of activity happened, I started to think: “Melissa, you know that God has to slam doors in your face to make you listen. All of these things are happening at once because God is trying to get your attention. You feel like you take one step forward and two back because you do … by going against what you know to be true. Instead of feeling like you can’t catch a break, why don’t you take a break and listen and learn.” I remembered a verse so I looked it up: “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.”(Isaiah 55:6) and it made me think!
Remember when we used to ask “Teacher, can I go to the bathroom?”, and the teacher would say “I don’t know, can you?”. God says specific things to us: “Seek the Lord while he MAY be found”. It isn’t that we can’t find God … it’s that we won’t. God is available but we have to seek Him. Jesus does not want us to stay where we are; He was always moving and so we have to move as well. Jesus always said come and follow me, so why do we think we can stay in our old ways and still go down the new path He is preparing for us? The “may” in this verse gives us permission to be one with Him. This shows the people of the Old Testament (and us) that they didn’t have to just sacrifice and wait for God to rain down fire from heaven so they would get a clue and move. They were allowed to seek Him, find joy in His comfort, and get the direction they needed to do His will.
The next part of the verse says: “Call unto Him while He is near.”. This indicates that God won’t be available to everyone at some point. We serve a loving God, but He also has justice, and we know that there is a heaven AND a hell for a reason. If we strive to keep Him near at all times, then He won’t ever be able to get too far away that we have to run to catch up. I am assured in my faith, but I don’t want to reach the end of my life and have to explain to God where I was the whole time. I want Him to know I was at the edge of the stage at His concerts holding up the glitter signs and I have proof because I was in the picture in the “Heaven Herold” that He put in His scrapbook … not having to explain that He must have not seen me because I ran out of gas and my car broke down and so I was in the back next to the porta-potty and couldn’t see Him jamming out or get His autograph!
So what are some things to remember when we feel like we have lost sight of God? Here are a couple tips that I borrowed from some friends:
1. You can never say that God is silent when you have a thankful heart.
2. You can never say God is silent when you have an open Bible.
3. You can never say that God is silent when you are a faithful servant.
So the next steps for me (and perhaps you):
1. Stop complaining and realize God is trying to get my attention. Be thankful for what I do have instead of focusing on the negative. (I have an amazing God, a wonderful loving family, a good job that provides and nice co-workers, a home that keeps me safe, relatively good health, and the ability to stop eating bread so I loose those 5 pounds again!)
2. Seek Him first and search for answers in His word. (Get off Facebook and open the Lord’s book!)
3. Serve others. (This helps put everything in perspective. If I am serving then I am thinking about God and others and not myself.)
I hope God slamming the door in my face today will help you stay one step ahead of your troubles tomorrow! May God bless you and may you always seek Him.