“God my Father hears me crying, He will hear my prayer. Even when my heart is breaking, He will every burden bear. In my joy and in my sorrow, I can hear His gentle word whisper to my aching spirit in a tone that’s barely heard…I’m a father to the orphan; I’m a stronghold to the weak. Know, My child, I will be with you; you will find Me when you seek.” — God My Father, the Herbster Evangelistic Team
You will find Me when you seek.
Did you know, God is not hiding from you? In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, “You will find me when you seek me with all your heart.” That’s a promise. But how do we seek God?
If you read through the Psalms, you’ll discover a lot about God and a lot about the man they call a man after His heart. But I think the most amazing thing, to me, about reading the Psalms is constantly being reminded that David was a human being just like us. He was absolutely not perfect. A lot of times when people talk about David being imperfect, they refer to his sin of adultery. But reading through the Psalms, I get to see the whole range of David’s emotions, not just his sin. I get to see that he got discouraged, too. He was lonely at times. And he questioned God just like any of us.
In Psalm 88:14, David says, “O Lord, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me?” Apparently he was feeling alone and rejected by God. Does this mean God was hiding from him? No. And he knows that. That’s another thing I’ve found through studying the Psalms–David will start out writing his feelings and questioning God, but by the end of the chapter, he brings himself back to what he knows about God. He praises God for His faithfulness and His salvation.
Does that mean he stopped feeling lonely right then? I don’t think so. I think he was still feeling some difficult things, but he had learned not to let his feelings rule over him. He had learned that reminding himself of God’s character was a step in the right direction. And he trusted God, so he solidified that trust despite what he was feeling by writing it out. You know that saying “fake it ’til you make it”? I don’t think that’s exactly what David was doing, but it’s a similar idea. He was reminding himself of the truth until he was able to feel it again.
If it worked for David, I mused upon noticing this pattern, it’ll probably work for me as well. What I didn’t realize at that point was that I had already been doing that sort of thing.
One thing I worked on a lot when I was fifteen was choosing gratitude. When I was in a difficult situation or one I just didn’t like, instead of complaining, I chose to find things to thank God for. In fact, I made it a habit at the end of the day to list at least three things that had made me smile during the day or were just something I usually take for granted, but has noticed especially that day, like air conditioning or palm trees or toilets. (Yes, even toilets.)
In essence, this is what David was doing. While praying, he was real with God, not pretending he didn’t have emotions, but sharing them. But then he took control of his own feelings and brought his mind back to God’s character, expressing his trust in God.
This is how we seek God–by choosing to place our focus on Him, rather than our surrounding circumstances. By choosing to put our faith and belief in Him, rather than what our emotions are telling us.
In the middle of the storm, we can have peace by seeking God. And God promises that if we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), then everything else will be in place.
If you’re in a place where God feels far from you and you don’t know which path to take, focus on God. Remind yourself of His promises and His character. And trust that He is still there.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.” – Psalm 27:8