It wasn’t out of the norm for the girls to be late. Although as the minutes multiplied, so did my frustration. All day, they complained about being hungry and bored. Where are they now?
It was midway through summer at the residential school I worked at and so amidst our boredom one afternoon, I decided to plan a movie night. Posting a note on the door and announcing to all, I knew they heard me say 9 pm. Yet it was 9:05.
Thinking maybe they forgot, I decided to walk around the hall only to find most buried in electronics, not doing anything. I didn’t want to force them. So, I wandered back to my couch, hopeful they would eventually come.
Yet, even my favorite TV show was unable to distract me. I just couldn’t let it go. I spent all this time, money and effort making their favorite snacks… I came up with plans to make memories and have a fun night… Even still, my house remained empty.
Pacing my kitchen back and forth as five minutes turned to thirty, it finally hit me, like a ton of bricks. The Lord was trying to get my attention.
“Alisha… I see how frustrated you are… In the grand scheme of things though, this is small. But think about how I feel when you do not show up to spend time in the word with me…. When you choose to go running, grade papers, or sleep in….
Think about how heartbroken I am when you go all day or week or even month without thinking about or talking to me… Yet you have texted and called a million other people…
Or when you go and plan all these things without even stopping to think of the plans I have for you…”
A lump bubbled up in my throat. He is right… Who was I to complain about the girls not coming this one time, when again and again, I continued bailing on God? Or tried to reason at least I was doing things for him.
This leads us to Isaiah 55 (NIV):
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!… Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”
- From the very beginning, the Lord is inviting us to COME as we are… He does not think we are too broken or messed up. He isn’t interested merely in our doing. He loves us dearly and it is His greatest desire to be with us.
Continuing in verse 6:
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
- Unlike playing the game hide and seek, where we are unsure of our success or lack thereof in finding, we can stand on the promise of verse 6 “he (God) may be found.”
- His answers and plan often don’t make sense, especially at first. Still, the more we get to know His character, we will see He wants nothing but the best for us. He will use all to be part of His grand plan that is greater than we can understand.
3. JOY + PEACE
Finally, let’s look at the rest of the passage:
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”
- In this illustration, the seed is the word of God. While it may not be in the timing nor way we want or expect, God’s word will come to fruition. The seed you planted in a child’s life 25 years ago… The older couple at the nursing home… The conversation with your co-worker in the parking lot… Or the cashier at the grocery store last week… All have not been forgotten for nothing is wasted with Him.
- Our circumstances may not always be ideal. Everything will not always be perfect. We will make mistakes.
- Yet, we can cling to the JOY we have in Christ, knowing we are never alone and have been forgiven because of the price Jesus paid for us on the cross.
- We are also given incredible PEACE surpassing all understanding.
- Both gifts our world so desperately needs and unlike temporary pieces of bread… We can claim and declare his promises for all eternity.
Thus, will you COME and SEEK Him?
- What do you turn to fill the void in your life? (Ex. TV, Food, Others, Excessive Exercise, Perfectionism, Status, Material Possessions, Your Significant Other, Serving/doing things in Church)
- Why is it that others struggle to come to Christ? What can we do as the Church to help?
- How have you seen God bring his plans or purposes to fruition in your life or someone you know?
- What change would need to take place in your life today so you can SEEK God fully?
Lord, thank you for loving me, even in my brokenness, and for Jesus paying the price for my sins so I may be forgiven. Forgive me for turning to _____________________ for satisfaction. I see now that nothing but you and your word will fulfill me. Please give me the courage to make the necessary changes to come and seek you alone. Amen.
If you have any questions or prayer requests, please feel free to reach out via social media, email email@example.com, or comment below!
Much love & prayers always, Alisha