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By Darcy Mohr

Rev. Brian Roe spoke this week on a letter written by Jeremiah to the exiles in Babylon. Jeremiah 29:13 is the verse that caught my attention the most, “If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.” What does it mean to look for God in earnest? Merriam-Webster defines earnest to be “a serious and intent mental state” and “a considerable or impressive degree or amount”. So, God is calling us to look seriously and intentionally for Him, and to do so often enough to make our search a primary concern in our lives.

Rev. Roe also made the point that faith grows best in the soil of adversity. The Jewish exiles certainly faced adversity, and it was God’s plan that their 70 year exile would provide them with the adversity necessary to grow their faith. We each face adversity in different ways. It was certainly during the most difficult period in my life that my faith grew the most. It took God sending me into exile from the life I was leading to get my attention so that I would begin looking for Him, in earnest, and in turn, growing my faith.

God provides for us. He is always there for us. We just need to take the time to intentionally look for Him and we will find Him. One of the disciplines I’m trying to develop is memorizing some scripture. I was motivated to undertake this task when Pastor Alan reminded us one Sunday that not everyone in the world has the luxury of a Bible to reference. Some Christians live under the fear of persecution and perhaps have no access to the Bible. Some Christians only have the scripture they’ve committed to memory. I spend more time selecting verses to memorize than I spend actually working on memorizing those verses, but regardless of how I spend my time with God, it’s all good time. He speaks to me during all of the time I spend with Him.

Through this discipline, I’ve come to know Romans 5:3-5, which states that trials are good for us because they help us learn endurance, a point Rev. Roe made in stating that faith grows well during adversity. I’ve also come to know the simplicity of 1 John 5:12, “So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son does not have life.” I will never have God’s Son if I don’t look for Him in earnest. God’s message is consistent. Over 2500 years ago, God spoke to the world through Jeremiah; about 2000 years ago, God spoke through John; and today, He continues to speak through the words we are blessed with in the Bible. It’s very simple; it’s all about a relationship with God’s Son. I pray that each of us will have God’s guidance in structuring our lives to make time to look earnestly for Him and build that eternal relationship.

 
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3 Comments


Muyiwa almost 5 years ago

Amen. Thanks for your insightful piece.


Mary Ann Blaksley almost 5 years ago

Darcy, thank you for sharing your personal experience of Rev. Roe’s sermon and a time when you felt “exiled” and the subsequent spiritual blessing that transpired as a result. Thank you for sending us the challenge to reflect on the question of: What does it mean to look for God in earnest?

Of course it is impossible for me to understand just how disconcerting it must be to be exiled from all that is home. Being exiled away into Babylon immediately placed the Israelites into a potential state of culture and religious shock. Being away from the temple and other religious symbols of hope, it must have been so difficult to try to formulate any other prayer except: “Hashem, please bring us back home.”

Ironically when we most earnestly need to seek God and pray, sometimes we find ourselves lost for words. Thankfully, I work in an environment within the hospital setting where I meet many people and family members who feel abandoned by God as they enter into this new environment and learn a new language of medical terminology only to find that they cannot accept the translation that they are given.

So, in my role as Chaplain, I am truly blest to live daily with the reality of meeting patients, their families and friends who are feeling a little lost, frightened and exiled from the comforts of their home. It is not uncommon for family members to feel that the second room is their second home and their new reality. For some it is many months before any real progress is evident. Therefore, my job keeps me in a constant state of earnestly seeking the Lord on their behalf.


Ron Morrow almost 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing your reflection with us, Darcy. It never fails to amaze me how God can use a single verse of Scripture to bring me face to face with Him. FYI, I happened to stumble across another translation of Jeremiah 29:13 that really resonated with me: “When you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

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