As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. Psalm 42:1.
There’s been a lot going on of late. A lot of busyness, a lot of struggle, a lot of suffering. A lot. It seems that everywhere we turn, we have friends that are getting knocked down in one way or another. At the end of last week, we hit a big challenge, as the transmission of my truck, which I depend on for quite a bit, decided that after 260K miles, it was done. Not something I was prepared for at all. Of course, the immediate reaction is anger and frustration. “I need my truck. I can’t have my truck out of commission.”
After that initial frustration, a sense of clarity hit me, I can either be angry about it, stress out and let my joy fade away, or I can turn to the Lord and just seek His face through it all. That’s been the exercise. Seeking God, seeking His love, His guidance, and even His provision. I know, that no matter the outcome with this truck, He will lead me through it, if I put my full trust in Him.
Through this, the struggle of others, and in things I’ve been reading and hearing, a great theme has been emerging. In this year of growing deeper intimacy with God, He is showing me that what He desires is for us to seek more of Him. More of God, which, as Michael Thompson writes, leads to more life and more freedom.
I’m processing through a book by Larry Crabb called, “66 Love Letters.” Crabb provides an in depth and honest look at the 66 books of the Bible, wrestling with his own thoughts and questions about what each book is saying. My church family is going through this book as a teaching series through the end of the year. Very much recommend.
Anyway, I was processing this morning and something Crabb wrote while looking the the book of Joshua stuck out. He said, “Invite Christians to live for Jesus and imply that the Christian life is all about blessings, about entering a land filled with milk and honey with no real battles, and they’ll all come forward. Churches that never deal with the real fight that following My Son requires often grow large but mostly with small Christians.” This made it obvious to me, which I already knew, that the life with Christ, on this side of eternity, is not all sunshine and roses. It is a real battle, and we will continue to face challenge after challenge throughout out lives.
So in pondering that, I began to think about this life with God and what it means to seek after the more; to seek more of God. Jesus says in John 10:10 that “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” So many of us look at that quote and think that with Jesus we will have an abundant and easy life. That things will get better and better and easier and easier. If you’ve been truly walking with God for any amount of time, you will know that this is not the case at all.
Jesus is showing us something here. That there is the hope of life that that comes from choosing to follow Him. He knows very well, however, that until his return and the restoration of all things, that this life, on this side of eternity, will be filled with tragedy and heartache. We’re not immune to it as Christians. But in that, is the choice on how we will decide to live. We can either sulk in our misery and allow circumstances and difficulties to keep us in stable misery, or we can choose to seek more of God through it all and not allow the struggle to rob us of the hope and joy that comes from the life with God.
I firmly believe, that with each difficulty and trial we face, God is presenting a training opportunity to us. An opportunity to train and grow and be sanctified to be more and more like Christ. That’s what He is after. Training us up to seek and receive the abundant life that comes only through Christ. The abundant and free life on this side of eternity, is a life where we can rest in our identity as sons and daughters and of the King and believes firmly and has great joy in the hope and promises of God.
Michael Thompson wrote that, “Until the day when we finally see Jesus face-to-face, we follow Him heart-to-heart an, in the process, receive the training He provides. Joining Him in seeing others’ glory reclaimed and restored.” In essence we are still in training. We are still being made whole and holy.
In Free to Live, John Eldredge writes, “We get to live His life – that is, live each day by the power of of His life within us. That’s the hope: you get to live that life. “But there is a reality of being in which all things are easy and plain,” wrote George MacDonald, “oneness, that is, with the Lord of life.” He makes us whole by making us holy. He makes us holy by making us whole.”
Seeking more of God is, in part, resting in the knowledge that, in this life we will have trials and struggles, but we have a great hope in Christ, so choosing to live and rest in that hope, enables us to not be tied up in the bonds that come from this world. We can be free and as we are told, we can be “anxious for nothing.”
So my challenge today for myself and you is think about what it means to seek more of God. Where in your life are not seeking Him more and where are you allowing temporal circumstances to have the say and rob you of your joy and hope. That’s not the life God has for us. There is a great hope and joy in Him and in the life to come. What we see here is temporary and an opportunity to seek Him more.
Choose to seek more of God.
Richard, thanks for this post. Prayers lifted for your situation with the truck, that you have resources to fix this and also clarity in what the Lord wants you to do with it.