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. Samantha Theobald says:

    There’s so many good things in this. What stands out to me most is Matthew 11. I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant and work on my feet with likelihood of not slowly down before the baby comes. I have to remember to lean into him to find rest and pray he helps get me through this physically difficult time.

  2. Mona Cooper says:

    My first Advent study and I am really enjoying it. It’s wonderful to see a community come together through Jesus Christ.

  3. Melissa Cunningham says:

    Do I seek God in the presence of what Jesus loves? That was hard to read, because we in this world seek to be better, to rise above, to succeed. We focus on us rather than those in need, the so-called dregs of society. But we are called to be like Jesus, to love what and who He loves. I need to shift my gaze to look upon what Jesus looks upon and to love them!

    1. Stacey Friesen says:

      This stood out to me as well. In order to seek God in these people, I’m going to have to slow down and take note. To be intentional about how I spend my time. What a beautiful reminder of the heart of God.

  4. Debbie Davis says:

    Hi Lauren. I wanted you to know that I am there and have been there many times (even though I don’t have little ones anymore). I, too, seek solutions that are broken cisterns (“grabbing my phone 600 times a day, looking for a answers”). I sat this morning and wrote and cried, and wrote and cried. He quieted me with His love (Zeph 3:17) and sorted me out. I pray He does this for you too, over and over again. Much love. ❤️

  5. Melissa Mcronney says:

    The devil is attacking my marriage, but I’m confident that God will work it out.. only because I’m seeking Him in prayer to lead and cover us.. keep us in prayer

    1. Natasha R says:

      Hi Melissa, I am praying for you! May God give you strength and wisdom.

    2. L Luce says:

      Remember our battle is never with our husbands or wives. Forever it is the enemy selling a lie or ten to those who God fully intends to use for His glory. Snares and lies-it’s the devil’s native tongue. Praying against division and praying for faithfulness toward the covenant and unity that is His greatest earthly display of His sacrifice. Praying for strength for you, for encouragement for you and for your eyes to remain fixed …from someone who didn’t quite make that mark, bc my eyes were not fixed and my faith grew weary in the waiting. Working in the waiting …He is a good Father, He would not withhold one good thing from us. #walkon Isaiah 51:13

  6. Shirley Nuñez says:

    I want my Lord to be my solution. I want to turn to Him in the midst of my troubles, my anxiety. I want to find peace, the kind of peace that only He can give me. Father, I pray I find you. I pray that you will be the one I seek in times of trouble. I do not want to turn to the world looking for temporary solutions; solutions that will make me feel ok for a bit, but it’s potency will eventually diminish because it isn’t You. I don’t want bandaid solutions. I pray for rest. For peace. For comfort. In Jesus name, Amen.

  7. Anneliese Peterson says:

    Love the reminder to seek Him alone!

  8. Amber A. says:

    Hi Lauren – I can totally resonate with you this season. My husband is also deployed and will be through the holidays- and while I’m fortunate our rental has been safe thus far, we have still had issues the roof was leaking tremendously, the heat wouldn’t turn on this winter. It always feels like when they leave everything falls apart. Seeking God more than ever this deployment has been my rock and stability. I love looking at all of these hardships as God HAND-PICKED each of these challenges FOR ME. It’s not like they’re just happening to our family because it’s life, I really believed He said okay Lauren, okay Amber – here I’m going to give you PPD, I’m going to give you a broken heater- like Santa handing out gifts on Christmas. But the fruit of these gifts is He is going to teach us and guide us and give us new strengths we didn’t know we could have in Him. Praying for your family this Christmas season, stay strong, girl.

    1. Samantha Aho says:

      Praying for you, Amber! I too have experienced having my husband deployed during the Christmas season, and it can definitely have its own unique set of challenges. I love your heart and approach to this time though – May God grant you deeper intimacy with Him as you walk through the advent season and May it draw you and your husband closer together even while you are physically apart. You are not alone!

    2. Jane K says:

      Keeping you and your family in my prayers!

    3. Liz Lindsay says:

      Amber, I have been there countless times now. It seems inevitable that whenever my husband gets deployed or goes on a trip that’s when all bubbles over. Praying peace over you and resiliency in this season.

    4. Sarah Pacheco says:

      Seeing all you military wives post is so comforting! Holidays are hard as my husband and I celebrate our first Christmas married but apart. I feel comfort knowing there are so many other strong couples out there going through their unique challenges of deployment.

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