Day 2

Seek the Lord

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan

Isaiah 55:6-13, John 7:37-38, Matthew 11:28-30, Revelation 3:20, Isaiah 12:1-6

BY Claire Gibson

Recently, the New York Times published a story about the rise of anxiety among tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. These young executives believed that the technology they created would help save the world. But if the news is any indication, their technology hasn’t made good on that promise. In response, many sought counseling and benefited from therapy. And in the end, they turned back to what they do best—creating apps to help connect patients to therapists, the way dating apps connect strangers for blind dates. The article put it this way: “The cure for tech’s ills, they hope, is more tech.”

The truth is, I’m not all that different from those executives in Silicon Valley. I have blemishes on my face, so I buy some weird cream that promises to help clear my skin. When that makes me break out even more, I venture back to the store to find another snake oil to clear up the problem. And so on and so forth, ad nauseum, until my bathroom drawers are full of expensive products, none of which actually work. I double down on a solution that will never be a solution, refusing to embrace the truth: I need help. I need rest. The world needs saving, and we’ve looked everywhere, but we can’t find the savior.

Luckily, God hasn’t left us on our own. And if we seek in the right places, we will find. Not a technological solution to our problems and our anxieties, not a fix-all for our circumstances, not an acne-clearing miracle drug, or a cancer-curing one either. If we seek in the right places, we will find something far more true and valuable than all of those things. If we seek, we will find Him (Matthew 7:7). And He is what we need.

Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call to him while he is near.” The good news is that He isn’t hard to find. Where do I seek God? In His Word. In His Church. In the presence of the things Jesus tells us He loves—with children, the marginalized, the oppressed, the poor, the broken, and the lost.

And when I seek Him, what do I find? I find truth: God tells me I was known before I was even born (Psalm 139). God tells me that my life was not a mistake. That I am not defined by my worst day, that when I repent, He is ready and willing to forgive and lavish on my self-inflicted wounds the salve of holy compassion. God says that I can call to Him, and better yet, that He will answer (Jeremiah 33:3).

His greatest answer of all was in sending His Son Jesus—God with skin on—to show us what He is like (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus says He is gentle. Jesus says He is humble (Mark 10:45; John 5:19). Jesus says if I allow Him to be my teacher, I will find rest for my soul (Matthew 11:28–29). Is there anything a soul needs more than rest?

Here is my prayer: Lord, let us not double down on our own powerless strategies to infuse life with meaning. This Advent season, in the glow of holiday lights and festivities, help us focus on You and seek You above all else, and You alone. Amen.

Post Comments (190)

190 thoughts on "Seek the Lord"

  1. Lisa Z says:

    Thank you for this study. A great way to dive in to this Christmas season! Many years ago when I was a little girl, we had advent wreaths. I’m making one today to use as I do this study. Haven’t thought much of Advent in the past years.

  2. Sarah Marshall says:

    I have found myself lately being distracted, especially in my time with the Lord. My mind wanders to other things and my prayers feel empty, like I need to check it off my to do list. I know He deserves better. I am praying that this study helps me to refocus my attention and heart back to what really matters—the Lord.

    1. Debbi A. says:

      Love your honesty. I, too, often feel this way and am hopeful my heart and mind will grow closer to God during this season of Advent. I will pray for you as well.

  3. Kaylee Shepherd says:

    I am a high school freshman, and i still found this very interesting and very beautiful.

    1. Julie Waldvogel says:

      That’s wonderful Kaylee! Keep diving into Gods Word. Praying for your steadfastness..

  4. Heidi Bentz says:

    SEEK the LORD while he may be found.
    SEEK his Rest – his easy yoke and light burden.
    The LORD is my salvation and I’m not afraid.
    While he is knocking, listen for his voice and open the door.

  5. Kirsten Myers-Blake says:

    “Is there anything a soul needs more than rest?”

  6. Antania Baylock says:

    It’s absolutely piercing the part of the reading Seek the Lord by Claire Gibson where she says, “God is willing to forgive and lavish our self inflicted wounds with the slave of Holy Communion.” What an amazing statement! It resonants with me because often I have looked at sin as something that I do and not something I am doing to myself. When I sin, I wound myself and God offers His love as a curing salve that heals the surface and the tissues beneath. His love penetrates so deeply that it changes desires making me unwilling to wound myself again. Thanks for this reading.

  7. Erin Stanczyk says:

    Lord, help me to be calm and rest in your peace and feel your presence amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays and in amongst my busy brain.

  8. Lauren G says:

    I am in a hard season right now- husband is deployed and I am working and taking care of our 2 kids on my own. We had to move out if our place (hopefully temporarily) because my son was found to have an elevated lead level and the rental was subsequently found to be full of lead. I’m struggling with postpartum depression and the meds that used to work aren’t helping. I feel so tired, but more than physically tired, I feel soul-weary. I catch myself grabbing my phone like 600 times a day, looking for answers somehow, and Realizing how ridiculous that is. I loved the comment about doubling down on “solutions” that will never fill us!
    I want to believe that God can provide rest for my soul!
    Church mouse- thank you for your comment on seasons of sowing (I can’t reply directly to you). I am inspired to look to see what this season can sow, rather than just waiting for it to be done.

    1. Jackie Bringman says:

      Lauren, I am praying that God bless you with

    2. Jackie Bringman says:

      Lauren, I am praying that God bless you with comfort in this season. Be encouraged, he is near to you ❤️

    3. Sara Aylett says:

      Hi Lauren.
      Your comment really touched me. Please know that in this season you have an amazing community of women praying and walking alongside you. I would love to be able to offer you some more practical help, but I’m guessing there are oceans between us (I’m in Australia) , and prayer is always the best first answer. I’m praying that you find joy in the advent season this year, that your kids bring you smiles in the exhaustion of the everyday, and that our Heavenly Father would pour his spirit of comfort on you.
      Much love to you today
      Sara xx

    4. Rebecca McCartney says:

      Lauren, I am praying for you now. That you will feel God near.

    5. Kayla Brown says:

      Praying for you Lauren!! Keep clinging to God’s Word ❤️ Where do you live?

    6. Jacqui Swindlehurst says:

      Lauren, I am praying for you, your husband and children as well.

    7. Natasha R says:

      Hi Lauren, I am praying that God will sustain and empower you. ❤️

    8. April MacDonald says:

      Thank you for being vulnerable, Lauren. As someone who went through Postpartum anxiety, I understand how helpless it can feel. I pray you find rest in God and that you’re also able to get practical help with the PP. I’d love to talk to you more about what helped me ❤️. Hang in there momma, you’re doing a wonderful job

    9. April MacDonald says:

      Lauren, thank you for sharing so openly. I’m praying you find rest in God and practical help with PP. As someone who went through postpartum anxiety, I know how difficult it can be. I’d love to share with you what has helped me. Hang in there momma, you’re doing a fantastic job ❤️

    10. Samantha Aho says:

      Praying for you! My husband was deployed for two Christmas seasons in a row and it makes this time of year much more challenging in many ways. Praying that God will grant you peace and a deeper intimacy with Him as you lean into His word. ♥️

    11. Jane K says:

      Hi Lauren, Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Your plate is overflowing with caring for your children, working, your child’s health issues and your own physical and mental health. May God give you a deep peace in the midst of all this. If you’re not part of a God filled church, I would encourage you to find one. We need each other. I will keep you in my prayers.

    12. Leigh Ann Ulmer says:

      I am praying for you Lauren G. Praying that you will find the strength that you need right there in His word and that God will send someone to walk along side you through this season.

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