“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
I have offered quite a few prayers to God over my lifetime that are still unanswered. I have spent nearly a decade fervently praying for a family member, and although I have seen bits and pieces of God’s hand in their situation, I have yet to see the divine miracle I’ve been praying for. I have now begun to lose faith. Will God ever answer that specific prayer?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
When we don’t see what we want to see happen, we lose sight of where God is in the situation. That’s what happened or is happening to me. I have never experienced a lack of faith in this way before; and even though my faith seems to have run away, I know in my heart that this isn’t the time for me to run, give up or be defeated by unbelief. It’s time to regain hold of the assurance of things hoped for. It’s in these times we must do the opposite of what we feel like doing, and search for God despite our lack of faith.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call on Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6
I was playing hide and seek with my nieces and nephews, and it was my niece’s turn to count. As she began counting, we all ran to our hiding places. Of course, little kids usually go to the same places and expect you to be in the same hiding spot. As adults, we attempt to make it easy for four-year olds to have a sense of accomplishment. Well, this time I hid in a spot that I knew no one would find me. My nieces and nephews combined forces as I waited anxiously for them.
I am super grateful I didn’t have to use the bathroom during this game because I was hiding for what seemed like hours! After looking in all the usual places, they were at a loss and started searching in new hidden areas. Finally, they found me! I was so excited! Perhaps, more than them. I celebrated their victory and perseverance. They didn’t give up! They were challenged to look in places they hadn’t searched before.
I believe that’s how God operates. He loves when we seek Him out. He loves to challenge us and hide in new places so when we do find Him, He can celebrate us for our endurance and perseverance. Friends, I may not be a great example of how to keep the faith when a core prayer goes unanswered for years on end, but I am really good at hide-and-seek. In faith lost, I am finding God; and I believe that in time, my faith will rise again.
Our attitudes, actions, and behaviors during difficult times are the sum of our hope and trust in Christ. So, despite what you feel, think, or believe, I encourage you to seek Him diligently. God wants to be found by you! And He’ll wait a limitless amount of time for you to find Him. I know because He’s doing it for me.
Ashley K. Stovall