Day 11

Give Thanks in Wandering

from the Give Thanks in Wandering reading plan

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


Post Comments (69)

69 thoughts on "Give Thanks in Wandering"

  1. Monica says:

    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.

  2. Ruth says:

    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.

  3. Rian Jones says:

    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!

  4. Chelly says:

    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!

  5. HeatherJC says:

    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.

  6. Bethany says:

    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.

    1. Kathryn F. says:

      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.

      1. Bethany says:

        Thank you, Kathryn. Today is a hard day and I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

  7. Sandy says:

    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!

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