“. . . so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).
OUR DILIGENT SEEKING OF GOD CAN BE BASED ON THE CONFIDENCE THAT HE IS THERE TO BE FOUND. Human beings are hopeful by nature, it is true, but they are not merely “wishful thinkers.” The deep human longing for God is a need for something that really exists. If we truly and honestly search for God, we will, in time, certainly find what we need to find.
Confidence. Among the great discoveries in the natural world, some were made accidentally, but many more were made by explorers who were confident of the existence of the thing they were looking for. In a similar way, it is faith, based on reasonable conclusions drawn from credible evidence, that propels us forward in our discovery of God. We should be careful, rather than naive. But having been careful, we should also be optimistic.
Patience. The person who is sure that the object of his search is actually there waiting to be found will not be unduly upset by short-term delays or frustrations in the quest. He will simply keep looking, patiently moving closer and closer to the thing that has intrigued him. So shouldn’t our seeking of God be patient? After all, this quest is the most significant endeavor in the world. Should our faith not steady us as we move forward a little each day? “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NRSV).
Persistence. It is said that Thomas Edison tried several thousand wrong approaches to the electric light bulb before he found what he was looking for. His confidence that the search was legitimate, coupled with his patience in the process, gave him a legendary persistence, no doubt amazing to those unacquainted with the power of belief. Likewise, the question is not whether we are willing to look for God, but whether we are willing to look again and again . . . and if necessary, yet again. Like a bubble making its way from the bottom of the aquarium to the top, perhaps momentarily detained but never completely deterred, we should seek our Creator’s presence with persistence, until the day of glorious discovery when we look upon His face.
“Time discovers the truth” (Seneca).