"Where is that dog?" I mumbled under my breath in between calling out to him from my back door. "Why is he not coming?" I could just see him in the distance, but he would not respond to my increasingly frustrated tone of voice, as I called out to him. It was cold out. I was tired, and I had things that I needed to get done. I was beginning to get irritated. Why isn't he showing up?
So, I walked out to look for him, with my thin shoes on, sloshing through 18 inch deep snow, as far as I could go. I called, and he did not come. I went back in and waited. A few minutes later, I tried again. Slosh. Slosh. Slosh. I walked out there, could just see him in the distance, called for him, and he would not come. Ugh! That dog!
Finally, I put on my snow boots. With a determined face and tone in my voice, I firmly bellered for the dog, this time clomping in to deeper snow. I marched in to the woods, snow filledmy boots, and cold wind blew around me: I was on a mission to get that dog. And finally, he came.
Now, it's not a perfect parallel, but that is how I feel with God sometimes. I call for Him, and there seems to be no answer. I tread out to look for Him; once, twice, and seemingly still no response. Finally, I get determined.
"Where is He? I am cold, tired (weary) and I need to get things done. (Doesn't He see that I have alot going on and I need HELP?)"
And so I put on my boots and get serious at tracking Him down. I relentlessly pursue Him, in His Word, through the support of others and in prayer. I seek Him with a vengeance. I know He is out there; I can just see Him in the distance. It seems as if He is not listening, and then -- He comes.
I don't understand it. But I do know a couple of things that are true and I have to keep on telling myself.
Isaiah 55:8 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord."
Psalm 15:5-6 says "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."
And God says in Jeremiah 29:13-14 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, and will bring you back from captivity."
Sometimes, we are really hurting and we can look out in to the distance and we see God. Yet, it seems like we call and we call and we call, and He doesn't seem to show up. So we go out and try to find Him. Still, He does not come. So, finally, with all of our heart, we trudge out and we dig in deep and seek Him. And then, He comes.
God wants our hearts. He already knows our pain and our suffering and our circumstances. Unlike my dog, He is not being stubborn or disobedient. Of course, God can not be those things.
Instead, His apparent not coming when we first call is not that at all. His timing is perfect in all things. He wants our heart and He wants us to seek Him with all of it. His thoughts and ways are not ours. Good News! They are even better, and He has already set the boundary lines in pleasant places for us, even if it does not feel like it right now.
Seek Him, relentlessly. He will be found. And as He releases you from the captivity of your pain, He will show you the good things that He has for you. In His time.
P. S. As I was writing this, the dog came to my feet and settled in. He dropped from his mouth (did I tell you he is a puppy and eats everything?) a small rectangular magnet with the word
"GOD'S" on it. Yes, God, I get it ... God is here. God is present. God is found. (He never went missing!) God is showing up.