“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-14
Everyone has their favorite verses in the Bible; these are some of mine! Many times when I’ve gotten lost in the fog and distanced myself from the Lord, I turn to these verses because they promise such a beautiful restoration. It’s a comfort to know that even when I fail, the Lord still thinks thoughts of good toward me. He still has a plan to get my life back on track and send me on the way to a happy conclusion.
One time this last sentence took on a new meaning to me. I couldn’t feel His peace ruling my thoughts; I was uncertain where I was or where to from here. I looked up these verses again and was happy for this promise: if I would search for Him with all my heart, I would find Him. But first I had to search, right?
I mentally prepared myself. I was going to examine my life, dredge up all the times when I knew I’d done wrong and examine them for the whys and wherefores. I was going to search my mind for wrong attitudes or bad feelings toward someone. I definitely wanted that feeling of peace restored, and I was going to search until I found it.
Then the Spirit asked me this question: “Now what ARE you searching for?” I paused a moment to reflect: just what was it I was supposed to search for with all my heart? All the mistakes I could remember making? Every time when a bad attitude reared its vicious head and hissed at someone? Feelings–inferior, superior, hostile or indifferent–that I must deal with? Did God want me to rake my past performance over the coals and sort the gold and silver from the dross?
No, the verse says to search for the Lord.
Suddenly it came to me clearly that sifting through my life is “putting the cart before the horse.” If I would search for the Lord with all my heart, would He not reveal to me these other things? If there was something I needed to confess or clear up with someone or put out of my life, would He not be able to discern that better than I?
He has the answers to all my needs, yet how easily I slip into trying to save myself instead of simply asking for His forgiveness and trusting the blood of Christ. THEN I can go on in obedience to deal with the things He shows me.