Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - July 31, 2008


The Search
This devotion was written by Leslie Snyder

“‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord…”
Jeremiah 29: 13-14

During some recent spring cleaning, my husband’s eye caught a glimpse of something shiny at the bottom of a laundry pile on the basement floor.  It was a spare house key that had been lost a few months back.  At the time we lost the key, the family began searching feverishly to find it.  Questions plagued our minds.  Was it lost?  Did we loan it to someone?  If it was lost, should we change the locks on our doors as a safety precaution?  The more questions we discussed, the more active our imaginations became.  Hours of searching turned into days, and the days slipped into weeks.  I don’t remember exactly when we stopped looking for the key, but somewhere along the way we resigned ourselves to the fact that the key was gone.

Sometimes our spiritual lives are like this.  We know where God is, where we stand in our relationship to Him and yet, one day, something changes.  Perhaps it’s a job termination or a call from the principal’s office.  Even good changes can bring about a sense of uncertainty like a job promotion or the birth of a new child.  I like to refer to these unexpected changes in life as divine interruptions.  As exciting as some of these changes are, they can leave a person feeling very much alone and forgotten, and once again the questions begin.  “Where is God anyway?  I thought He cared about me.  If He cares about me so much, why is there so much confusion and sense of loss?”  The promise of Jeremiah 29:13-14 is echoed in the New Testament by Jesus as He teaches the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son in Mark 15.  This group of parables, best read together, gives a fascinating picture of the reward of seeking.  In each story, there is a theme of perseverance.  Each character actively seeks out that which is lost and, in the end, is rewarded for his or her resolve. 

Is this how you approach your relationship with Christ?  I think if we are honest, most of us must confess that somewhere along the way, the hours of searching turned into days, the days then turned into weeks.  Somewhere, without making the conscious decision, we resigned ourselves to the fact that God must not care, and we quit searching.  Friends, the search must never stop.  None of us have enough of God; too many of us have become comfortable and complacent.  What  about our eagerness to meet with Him, to find Him in new and fresh ways, and to express our great desire to “capture”a little bit of God everyday and be really “alive”?  My friend Mike Yaconelli presented the challenge this way:  “What happened?  What happened to our aliveness?  How could we grow up, accumulate twelve to fifteen years of education (or more), get married, have children, work for decades and never really live?  How could we begin our lives with clarity and passion, wonder and spontaneity, yet so quickly find ourselves at the middle or end of our lives, dull and bleary-eyed, listless and passionless?”*

I suspect it is because we gave up the search.  Jeremiah promises that when a person seeks God with all his or her heart, God will be found.  The parables echo the promise.  As this hour turns into a day, and the days turn into weeks, may we dare to be a people on a never-ending search to find God in each day, and to welcome His divine interruptions.


  1. When is the last time you really searched for God?  Ask Him to place in you the longing for a deeper relationship with Him and for the courage to seek Him, even when it seems He can’t be found.  
  2. If you have never started the search, begin today.

Mark 15; Matthew 7: 7-11

*Yaconelli, Michael. Dangerous Wonder, The Adventure of Childlike Faith, NavPress, 1998, pp. 14-15. 

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