As we begin to wrap up the year, I’ve been reflecting on my “word” for 2018—Presence. (I encourage you to read my post explaining why and how I chose that word.) My goal was to be more intentional in my efforts to spend time in God’s presence, without asking for anything more than that. I still kept a card with special prayer requests, but first I just sat and opened up to God’s spirit.
I wish I could tell you that I immediately felt a sensation of profound peace or that I heard God clearly speak to me. However, that would not be true. Most of the time, my mind wandered to my to-do list for the day, regrets about yesterday, or plans for tomorrow. Every few minutes (or even seconds) I’d have to capture my thoughts and bring them back into God’s presence.
I don’t feel all that successful, but I did learn a few things, so maybe that was the answer. These questions frequently came to mind during my quiet time, and I believe God gave me some answers:
Question to myself: As we read the Bible and strive to understand it in today’s world, how can we know we’ve got it right? After all, everyone thinks they know what’s right, but not everyone agrees.
Answer: Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
This tells me that none of us can really know God’s thoughts. If we did, then we’d be just as smart as he is and basically just like him. All of scripture makes it very clear that that is not true. God’s thoughts are far beyond and above mine, and I should stop fooling myself into thinking that I can get it all figured out. This revelation has helped me be kinder, more forgiving, and less judgmental of myself and others.
Question to myself: If that’s the case, what the point of even studying the Bible?
Answer: Once again in Isaiah 55, verse 6 God says, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” Also, in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD…”
My conclusion from these verses is that I don’t have to understand God, his ways, or his thoughts. All I have to do is to seek him with my whole heart. I have friends and family who don’t always agree on interpretations of particular parts of the Bible, but I know that their heart is in the right place, and I hope they know that about me as well. God promises all of us that when we are earnest he will allow himself to be found by us, even if we don’t understand everything or get it right.
As this crazy year ends with truth seemingly on its deathbed, I am so glad that I spent each morning wrapped up in God’s presence—even if it was only for a few seconds. I know that when I search for him with my whole heart, he will be found by me. He’s the truth, and he will give me wisdom and understanding. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7