Do you ever feel unfulfilled or, incomplete? “…but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” sang Bono in the 1980’s. “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you O God. My soul thirsts for you, O God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” sang the Spirit-inspired Psalmist David in Psalm 42:1-2, a good many years before. If you are like Bono, you are still looking. But allow me to suggest something to you: perhaps this desire for “something…more,” is the verification of your innate desire to seek God and His fulfilling presence. However, if you are already a child of God, everyday acknowledgements (like David’s), speak to your sense of your own imperfection, your own incompleteness, your own need for God. Have you ever watched a sunset or a sunrise and felt a connection to someone beyond yourself? Ever sit on a mountain side in the morning with the sun warming your face, the wind whispering through the trees, wafting the sweet scent all through and over you, feeling at once a sense of God’s sanctity and sovereignty in that moment? Ever wonder at the peace and power of the surging sea? Ever sit out on a summer’s evening or meditate early in the morning, eyes closed, listening, in order to single out each individual birdsong, insect, child, or barking dog in the distance? Ever walk around a farm pond in the morning with thoughts turning to the words of a Psalm, which prompts YOU to write a song of praise? Ever rejoice while listening to a rooster crowing as the day begins? Experiences like this reveal our natural desire for God, which is one of the ways that God attracts us to Him.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? And the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:1-4).
God has made and continues to order this marvelous universe through which he reveals himself to us every day. Yet, with all of this to command, he is mindful of every human being on this planet earth. He knows you personally – everything about you, and He cares; he really, really, cares! “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” That’s what Jesus said as recorded by Matthew (10:30).
Do you notice how very simple things can make you feel immensely thankful? Maybe it’s a conversation with a friend? Or perhaps sharing a significant episode with someone without the clutter of words? Awareness of simple gifts can point to your underlying awareness of God’s goodness. “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1).
Do you have a desire to be more holy? Reading about the great triumphs of God’s people when their hearts were sanctified and centered on him moves me to imitate their holiness. There are greatly inspiring events to read about. One of my favorites is found in 2 Chronicles 20. It tells the story of when King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites came against the Moabite-Midianite-Edomite confederacy. The metal of Israelite swords never even had to touch that of their enemies. They trusted God, and God dealt with their foes.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me,” said David in Psalm 51:10. Do you remember when he said that? Later in verse 17, David said, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” He said this as his heart was breaking over the trauma his sin had dealt into the lives of others. It is the same for each and every one of us. What is required involves more than intellectual assent. To be a true servant of Christ calls for whole-hearted commitment of one’s life as Jesus’ disciple. God is interested in honest hearts, especially grieving and penitent ones. He is near to such. Very near!
Then there are those great moments of clarity -- like that momentary feeling that you are right where you should be. Have you ever been talking to someone about the LORD and His word and, just when it is needed, having that just right scripture come clearly to mind. This is when we experience God’s encouragement and providence, a witness between our Spirit and God’s Spirit (Romans 8:16).
It is good for us at times to be made to feel vulnerable. Often when you are sick or struggling with some great difficulty, you feel a greater need for God. But God is no nearer or farther away at such times; you are just more open to Him when you are vulnerable.
It is in us to want to seek God -- to know him and his will for our lives. He “has put eternity into Man’s heart,” said Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:11. We sense God’s presence all around us and in everything. Because we are created by God and in his image, we have (as someone called it) an “instinctive” capacity to know him built into our DNA.
Are you looking for God? Like Paul said, “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). He not only wants you to look for him; he wants you to find Him!