December 03, 2020

What If You Can’t Find God?

Jeremiah 29:10-14

“You will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

—  Jeremiah 29:12-13

Several years ago, a high school senior sent me a note after I had given a chapel talk at her school. She wrote, “What do you do when you can’t find God? You pray, and it feels like you are talking to an empty chair; and you read your Bible, but it’s just words, and it does not mean anything to you.” C.S. Lewis wrote that when he prayed during his wife’s illness, the doors to heaven seemed to have been double-bolted.

Some of us have had that experience of feeling that God is far away and unreachable. Even some of the psalmists wrote about times when God did not seem to be anywhere near. In Psalm 22, David cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus himself repeated those words as he hung dying on the cross (Mark 15:34).

So what do you do when you can’t find God? Do what the psalmist did, and cry out to God. Let him know how much you need him. And read and reread today’s Bible passage, which assures us that when we seek God with all our hearts, we will find him. God wants to be a part of our everyday lives, just as he showed us when his Son, our Savior was born.

Lord, sometimes you seem so far away, and some­times we simply can’t find you. Help us to seek you, and please show yourself to us. We ask this in the name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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