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. [Isaiah 55:6-7]
It’s not that God is missing, you know, or that God is moving closer and farther away. It’s the seeker who is either ready or not to discover God in Spirit, working and moving, speaking and transforming our lives. And when we, as seekers, do have a personal experience with God, that is the best moment to ask those tough questions, to not let go, like the woman with the issue of blood [Matthew 9:20-22] or Jacob, as he wrestled the angel [Genesis 22:24-30]. Both of these people knew their time had come, their opportunity, to hold tight, to touch and encounter God.
When someone who does not know God has that initial epiphany, it’s as though God appears out of nowhere, and suddenly, their new found belief, brings God close, brings in the reality of Christ Jesus, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s an “aha!” moment. In those first flushed days, it is the easiest time to ask forgiveness, to surrender the sins and bad choices, to confess.
But later on, we become more closed and closeted, despite being faithful followers of God. It’s like running into someone you know . . . I mean, you know you know the person, you go to church together or you were at meetings together, and yet, no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember the person’s name. Do you confess that you don’t remember or fake it? That would be me, at least. I am too embarrassed to confess. And so I have been with my God, too embarrassed to review that same error in judgment, that same mistake, that same blasphemy. It’s not like God doesn’t know. But I am the one who cannot bear it. So, I open up the secret room and toss yet another “truth about me” inside and shut the door.
Jesus even taught that we are to forgive one another, not just seven times, but seventy times seven times [Matthew 18:22], symbolically meaning that forgiveness has no limits. Would God do less?
I say I am a seeker of the Christ and the fullness of the Spirit within, and yet, I withhold my truths and sins. When I do this, I am not seeking at all, but hiding, like Adam and Eve in the garden [Genesis 3:8]. God sought them. God is doing the same with me.
It’s so simple: when I seek, I find.