In Everything Give Thanks: Day 11

Give Thanks in Wandering

by

Today's Text: 2 Chronicles 15:1-4, Jeremiah 29:10-14, Mark 9:24, Proverbs 25:2

Text: 2 Chronicles 15:1-4, Jeremiah 29:10-14, Mark 9:24, Proverbs 25:2

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
- Jeremiah 29:13, NIV

Last year when my third son took his last breaths in my arms, I threw back my head in disbelief and screamed, “I don’t understand!” When I lost my twin boys one year earlier, I felt God wrap His arms around me in my grief. I felt it so deeply that there was almost a longing to have that feeling back again as my grief lessened over time.

This time I didn’t feel that same embrace. I felt empty, forgotten, dropped. I began searching for God—where did He go during this? Why had He let my child suffer so much on earth?

Seasons in our lives require us to search for God (Proverbs 25:2). It isn’t that he hides from us as in a game, jumping out at the last second with a “SURPRISE! Sorry you were so late; things could have been different if you’d just looked in the closet first.” It’s more of a withdrawal we experience when our humanity suddenly interrupts our faith and throws our rational concept of God out the window.

How many of us understand God, feel like we’ve got Him figured out? Judging from the standard comments we receive from others in a season of wandering—cliches of certainty like “God has done this for a reason!” and “This must be God’s will!”— it seems many of us have put our Lord in a neat little box.

To my shock, I found it really doesn’t work that way. My wandering often leads to more doubt. I search scriptures, read books, even Google questions—and I have to catch myself at times. I realize I’m looking for an answer that isn’t mine to know yet. Rather than insisting on finding the answer, I can rest in the certainty of the One who is The Answer.

When we wander in search of God, our faith is challenged and shaken. It might make us angry, and we may want to run to something that brings us immediate, earthly answers. Yet, if we allow it, even in the midst of confusion, wandering can lead us closer to a God we may not fully understand but we can completely trust.

When we seek Him, we will find Him—His Word says it’s true. And so we give thanks. We cling to Him and to the promise of Him, and we give thanks. For although we may feel lost, we know He never loses us.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
- from “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson

SRT-Thanksgiving_instagram_day11

  • I am a huge Kari Jobe fan and I heard her once say “I don’t understand why certain things have to happen in this life, but I want Jesus more than I want understanding.” Those words plus this lesson are such powerful words to cling to in a season of wandering.

  • This is just an amazing series. It is beyond relevant to my situation
    and God is surely doing amazing works with your work. Thank you.

  • Rian Jones

    I am just loving this study. How great it is to be reminded that we are still called to thank and trust God, whether or not we understand!

  • What an awesome reminder of how weak we are and often try to search for our own answers rather than look to him. My favorite study so far, thank you!

  • HeatherJC

    This is the closest description to my own lost season that I have ever heard. Thank you for helping me see that I’m still carrying unnecessary shame from that time of searching that’s keeping me from fully accepting God’s love now.
    Your line about searching for answers that aren’t yours to know reminded me of two things from my own journey. He taught me through that season that while I want Him to show me the big picture & I’ll figure out how to get there, His focus is on the journey & how it changes me & brings me closer to Him. And at one point when I was really wrestling with purpose of life type questions, He reminded me that philosophers have been unable to answer those questions for thousands of years. Lol.
    Anyway, your honesty, instead of clichés, was amazing. Thank you.

  • Oh wow. This one really hit me today. I chose this study because I know I needed to stay close to God in the midst of my intense suffering. I completely relate to the author’s feeling of God’s closeness through her first two losses and his complete absence during the third. I felt God so near to me through my first 3 miscarriages, but during this most recent one I’ve struggled to find him anywhere. I feel so kicked in the gut.
    Reading these study’s every morning though has reminded me of truth and seems to push the lies away a little bit further each time.
    I am going to continue to seek God through my pain. I know I will find Him.

    • Kathryn F.

      Oh Bethany I’m so sorry for your heartbreaks. I’ve suffered a miscarriage as well. This sister in Christ is praying for you as you seek Him.

  • SRT- this has been my favorite study of yours so far! I plan to read it again in November, great for thanksgiving season. Thank y’all for what you do!

  • I can’t help but think of that Narnia quote about Aslan not being safe because he’s really a lion and not a man, but that he is GOOD. I try to understand God from my human perspective and it never works out too well for me because I don’t usually comprehend that he is not human, his ways are utterly different from mine and his thinking much higher. But Im supposed to trust in his goodness rather than in my false perception that he is safe. He’s not safe, he will lead me through thorns and danger and periods of doubt and stress and struggle. But he is GOOD and I can be assured he will not give me anything he has not equipped me to handle. And that’s not a cliche, it’s Biblical truth.

  • Diana (Author of the post)

    I can’t imagine your and others pain from what you shared in this devotional today. I am so so very sorry for the pain you guys have experienced, God is truly amazing and it can be seen in that you are faithful.You trust our God, love and serve Him. Thank you for sharing your heart <3

  • I’ve read this a few times and exploring it in my journal makes it all the more powerful. Thank you God for the gentle reminder that those who are yours will always be yours.

  • This is so good! I recently came out of a season of the wilderness. Wandering was all I knew. Everybody told me to get in the word or make sure there wasn’t something I wasn’t willing to obey, etc. you’ve heard it all I’m sure. I wish someone would’ve said cling to Jesus. Even though you cannot see, feel or hear Him right now just cling. He will see you through. It would’ve made my wilderness a much shorter journey.

  • Deb McLaughlin

    I would like to buy " credit " for Christmas gift for some of my friends to do your bible studies that are available through your application website. I hope this is understandable I sometimes lack the correct tech terms Thanks Deb

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi Deb! What a wonderful idea. We don\’t have gift cards for our app, but maybe you could give an iTunes gift card to use for the plans? I hope this helps!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Anastasia

    Such a wonderful thought that He never loses us! Whether we’re near to Him or running in the other direction or going in circles, He knows, He sees us and He’s right there waiting for us to come back <3

  • Kristine

    I am a doer! Tell me what to do and why and then I am cool with that. This is my biggest struggle with Faith. The wondering…why…how do I fix! This was a great reminder

  • This is a good lesson to my heart today …. That there are some things only He needs to know, that we are not meant to find the answers to. I guess it may be some sort of protection for us? But at the same time, it is a lesson of letting go and just trusting in Him over all other things. Even as we wander, the answers we may seek are for our glory, and God always gets the glory. Every time. So let go and let God .. if I can be cliche. Thank you again for the wise words today.

  • Runningmama

    Love this reminder today. He himself is our peace.

  • This Give Thanks study has been such a huge blessing to me. Every day the words have been exactly what I’ve needed to hear. Thankful to God, and to everyone who is putting the effort into writing this! Thank you so much.

  • 2 Cor. 2:3-7:
    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.”

    Gen.15:1b
    “..Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

    Take heart! :)

  • The following quote is one that is so power ful to me in regards to the endurance of suffering:
    "Suffering is not a question that demands an answer; it not a problem that demands a solution. It is a mystery that demands a presence."

  • Carrie S.

    Seriously blown away by this. You killed it.

  • Am vry faraway frm home;n ere in Africa, Nigeria;Am in d north whch is dominated by muslims..dey are evrywere evn arnd me dey go 4 prayers n d ladies wear there hijab;n its a sight…I miss home n family bt thank God in all he put me among brethen;we pray,eat n do evrythn 2geda..Am grateful 2 God 4 puttn me in d midst of these brethens.bt finally I’ll leave ere on monday back home cnt wait 2 b home;4 my sister’s weddn on d 6th of dec;n 2 see evry1 I left bhind.Thank u Jesus 4 keepn me tru these weeks..My heart’s filled with Thanksgiving…

  • Brilliant and insightful.
    Our God is faithful. Often that’s the only answer we need.

  • Happy Thanksgiving! The whole humanity interrupting my faith idea…never heard it out that way, but it's the perfect way to describe those times of wandering. May I be more trusting, even when I feel lost.

  • Gina Zeidler

    So much truth. So much goodness.

  • Wow! Yes. Just yes.

  • Amen sisters, I can’t tell you how much I relate to the “searching” part. When we experience trials it seems as if other believers point out our disgrace, “well, God will discipline you” “he will test you” “this is through his hand.” Sometimes, we will not know, no matter what we have walked through we may not understand..but we can cling to the one who DOES. I thank you Lord for my plenty- and that your love is bigger than any of my circumstances or how the world may see my circumstance. Amen.

  • bringbackhisgirls

    There seems to be much I need to seek the Lord's guidance on right now. "Should I go to school next semester? Should I get a job? Where at, which one?" But I see now that 1) I need to seek Christ, not just mere answers, and 2) It's a step by step process, a journey. Jesus, give me the courage to do what You'd led me to do, NOW. Praise you, Jesus.

    Blessings, sisters. I love all of you.
    –AnnaLee

  • Beth Warner

    I love the honesty in all these studies. Thank you ladies, and hope you all have a beautiful day. Xo

  • This was such a blessing for me today. My 88 year old Mom passed away yesterday . God heard my prayer and she and our family were together and able to find peace. I had been reading to her the Bible Studies on the app when she was in the since October 26.
    Thank you for creating this app and being faithful in helping us to read truth.
    Several nurses and also the other patient in my Mom’s room thanked me for reading such beautiful words.
    When the Dr told my Mom she had advanced cancer her reply was “I am so grateful for my life and my lovely family. God has been good to me and allowed me to accomplish a lot in my life.” What an example she was to me about true Thanksgiving.
    PS. I even hung the picture from the Thanksgiving Study from Psalm 9.

  • Diana, thank you for sharing the wisdom you learned during a time in your life filled with such loss and confusion. (I was a part of the SRT community last year when this happened – my heart and prayers went and continue to go out to you and your sweet family.) Know that God is blessing so many of us here as He speaks through your words and Truth. Thank you, Diana.

  • "I realize I’m looking for an answer that isn’t mine to know yet. Rather than insisting on finding the answer, I can rest in the certainty of the One who is The Answer".

    This really stuck out at me because in those moments of waiting and not understanding why God has allowed the waiting to go on for so long I can't help but go into that questioning mode. That just ends up stealing my peace and making me more upset and anxious about the circumstances. Thank you for the reminder to rest in what I do know. That God loves me and in His soverignty allows my suffering BUT also has and is the answer.

  • Jennifer

    My very favorite She Reads Truth ever!<3 Our hope is Christ!

  • Well done, Diana. Thank you for your honest share today. How great is our God! To His glory today may we lift our broken and contrite hearts. He loves us with a love so deep and unimaginable. That brings us peace. Blessings pour forth to you all.

  • Whitney Brown

    Does a new study start when this one ends? Or is there a break?

  • This really spoke to me. I wander more than I would like to admit, but am truly amazed at what happens when I purposely seek Him. Thank you for sharing!

  • Years ago when my children were small my husband lost his job, his younger brother, nephew and my mother all passed away within a year. As I look back on that time I realize that through it all the Lord carried me. There are many things in the following few years that I simply don't remember. What did we do that first Thanksgiving and Christmas? I had to ask my children later on because I simply didn't remember. But what stands out to me that through the fog of pain and worry my Lord was always there. I would get up very early in the mornings before I left for work and kneel in front of a old recliner that we had at the time and cry out to him to please help me. Just let me feel His arms around me. Let me crawl like a small child into his lap for comfort. Tell me it would be OK. Tell me there would be a job. Help me contain the grief of loosing my mom. He brought me through it all. I could have turned and ran but where would I have gone? He was my source of strength even as I questioned. So fast forward 20 years. My husband retired from a job that in a million years I never would have thought he would have. My children graduated from collage are married with children. I still miss my mom but I have my heavenly Father who already knew how it all would turn out. I could not see the path but He had already cleared the way.

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you so much Nana C for sharing your story. Your comments coupled with today's amazing reading (Thanks SRT!) really hit home for me. I'm currently in a similar situation to your 20 years rewind. Our God is a God of hope and love. You are proof that we "can rest in the certainty of the One who is The Answer." You are a testimony of His love and faithfulness. Thank you for sharing that light with those who are searching it out.

    • Beverly

      Thank you, Nana C. What a beautiful story of hope and God’s faithfulness!

    • bringbackhisgirls

      " I could not see the path but He had already cleared the way." Beautiful, Nana C. Thank you for sharing your heart and testimony with everyone here on SRT. It's such a comfort to know that even though we may not know what to do or where to go– that although we may be clueless– He already has the entire path cleared for us, and is already in the future, ready and willing to show His great faithfulness to us. Be so blessed, Nana. You are so very, very loved.

      Blessings,
      AnnaLee

  • Diana, you cannot know how much I needed this. While my need is not like your loss this truly gives me a goal. Thankful for SRT. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Love this devotion! You are so right about our wandering that leads us us to search for answers only to find out that we may never get the answers here on earth. But our God only wants us to look to him and rest in Him! Yet it is one of the hardest things to do when your heart is broken and all you feel is immense loneliness…. Thank you for this post

    • bringbackhisgirls

      Diane, I am praying for you. That You'd seek and find Christ in a way that is new, refreshing, and more intimate with Him than ever before. I pray that any and all loneliness you feel would be replaced with a deep and abiding knowledge of Christ's presence in Your life. I'm also praying you'd find good, true community that loves Christ and therefore, will love you during this time; I also pray that the Lord would show you just how near He is, and that He'd hold your broken heart in His sovereign, loving hands. Love you, friend! God is near! Take heart.

  • Amen…we have times like this all the time, where we wonder where is God after we have wandered away. Glory to God, He is found when we search with all our hearts.

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. ..May your day be peaceful, blessed and filled with love and thanksgiving…

  • MrsJulieLClark

    The One who is THE answer…wow. That one hit me between the eyes. Too often, I seek the immediate answer. Help me, Lord to seek You instead. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Lord, let my wandering take me back to You! Happy Thanksgiving, sisters!

  • When the path is hidden, it causes us to turn our gaze toward God for direction. His word becomes a light for the lost and dark pathway (Psalm 119:105). Today, I thank God for the times I stood on a hidden path, unsure of my next step or where He was. Those dark days led to a seeking that helped me find my Father, to know his promises on a deeper level than before.

    • bringbackhisgirls

      Amen. When all we have is His Word for a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, how close and blessed our walk with the Lord becomes. Jesus, thank you for sometimes making us clueless about where we are or what to do, so that we can come to You. This whole life is about walking as closely with You as possible… so thank You, Jesus, for the times in our lives that leave us running to You. Jesus, keep us abiding in Your word, and give us the guidance only You can give regarding the things in our lives that we are still trying to figure out. Let us see Your face, and let it guide us to You more, no matter what that means for us! Amen.

  • Rather than insisting on finding the answer, I can rest in the certainty of the One who is The Answer….what an awesome thought and TRUTH….Diane…Amen to that… and thank you..

    From where I have come from…..heartbroken, lost, abandoned, alone, unworthy,useless, and the list goes on….to where I am now…without a doubt, I know I can rest in the certainty of the One who is The Answer…there may be days when I wander, I haven't got it all figured out, Praise God, but what I know deep in my heart is that God…God is my Anchor, my Rock, my Answer…and although I may be lost in my wanderings for a while….He is not far from me…Amen..

    Thank you Lord, that although I am prone to wander from the safety of your Love, your faithfulness, your goodness, You, Lord…that you have me in your sights at all times, that you are closer than a breathe away, and that in your love and mercy YOU wait in the sidelines of my wanderings to bring me home, back to YOU…Thank you Lord God for being the only True Answer…Thank you Lord God, Thank you….Amen…x

    Happy Thursday my Beautiful Sisters, praying The One who is The Answer, turn His face to shine on you today… with love, Tina..xxx

    • Tammy

      I don't know you Tina, but I know I love you as a sister in Christ. Thank you for your heart and your daily notes on SRT!

    • bringbackhisgirls

      "Thank you Lord, that although I am prone to wander from the safety of your Love, your faithfulness, your goodness, You, Lord…that you have me in your sights at all times, that you are closer than a breathe away, and that in your love and mercy YOU wait in the sidelines of my wanderings to bring me home, back to YOU…" Amen to that, Tina. Praise the Lord– that though we may let go of His hand, He never lets go of ours, and we are in His… always. Jesus, keep us from straying, and conform us more to Your image more every single day!

      I second Tammy's comment. I love you so much as a sister in the Lord, Tina, and your comments are always so beautiful! The Lord speaks such refreshing truth through you… thank you for your honest, loving heart for the Lord and for His people! God bless you, and make His face to shine upon you as well, Tina! <3

      Blessings, dear friend.
      –AnnaLee

  • thisgalsjourney

    This so so timely for me. I, too, am bone weary. Exhausted from fighting, from hurting. Lord, help me rest in You.

    • Sarah

      Praying you find rest, healing, and true peace in Jesus today.

    • Shannon Roe

      Love you, friend. Praying for you today tah

    • Shannon Roe

      Love you, friend. Praying for you today that you may see purpose in your days – the dark ones and the sun-drenched ones.

    • bringbackhisgirls

      It's beautiful that even in the bone-weariness, the Lord calls us to rest in Him and in who He is. He does all things out of love. Praying you'd rest in the peace of His great love for you, today. He IS working, my dear sister. I pray He'd strengthen you and give you all you need to walk through this valley. Love you.
      –AnnaLee

    • Jane J.

      TGJ I can say amen in agreement with your comment. This message along with this entire study is amazing and such a blessing. God provides these wells to drink from amidst our wandering and our trials… Thank you Lord.

  • I have been wandering for so long, trying to figure out who God Is, why we suffer, does He hear me, can I trust Him…and all this wandering makes me feel lost & insecure. When I read "rather than insisting on finding the answer, I can rest in the certainty of the One Who Is THE Answer" something clicked. I can rest & trust because He is God Almighty. I'm so tired…so empty from this fight. My heart is still broken, but tonight I will Rest in Him.

    Thank you for sharing your story…

    • Deanna

      amen…I felt that click too

    • bringbackhisgirls

      Praying for you, Jenny. I've definitely been there– where I've sought the answer more than I've sought the Lord, who IS the answer, ultimately. Praying that you'd enjoy His presence and would seek His face, no matter what answers may or may not come because of your seeking Him. It can be so hard to just trust Him, resting in who He is no matter the chaos all around, but when we do, I know we find something/someone MUCH better than whatever the answer we're seeking would be. Sometimes not knowing the answers make for a more beautiful, meaningful, amazing walk and journey with our Lord. Love you, sister. Thank you for your honesty.

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