Give Thanks in Wandering
Open Your Bible
2 Chronicles 15:1-4, Jeremiah 29:10-14, Mark 9:24, Proverbs 25:2
BY Diana Stone
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