It was late and I was tired so I began to mumble quick prayers as I thought I was drifting off to sleep. But there would be no drifting. Scriptures began to pass through my brain, acting as a shot of adrenaline, and I knew God wanted to talk. He’s never tired like me and He doesn’t drift.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. (Psalm 139:1)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
He had my attention and my thoughts began to do laps around my brain –
He searches for His people
I think You looked for me this year. Because it’s been quite the year, You know, and I don’t know the last time I’ve felt this tired. For at least the first half of the year, I was too tired to pray. Too tired at times to even drag myself into Your presence, into Your Word, preferring to join the lamenting and ash throwing and hand wringing. Fear was so tempting this year, Lord. Hiding from the chaos became hiding from everything, including You, because this year, this war, has been exhausting.
But I think You looked for me and it feels like you snatched me up, held me eye to eye and said it’s enough. Stop hiding, pick up your sword, stay close, don’t give up, I’m here. Remember and stop forgetting that I am good and I know what I’m doing and I love you and I will not forsake you. I made you and I called you to be with Me and “if you have raced with runners and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a peaceful land, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?”
And I weep because You notice my absence. You know my tendencies and You put Your foot down and call me back up where I belong because You love me and my place is with You and this is only the beginning of the hard things so I can’t hide and I can’t just drift. And I missed You, Jesus.
He looks for an intercessor
I believe You found what You were looking for because Your Church has awakened and is yet awakening. This year catapulted us into the breach to stand in the gap for our nation. Forgive us, Lord, that it took this kind of year to get Your people on their knees to intercede, to ask for Your mercy and for Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Forgive us for our absence in the gap, that we left the wall empty of all but a handful of faithful watchmen. But now, Lord…
let Your eyes find Your devoted ones…
and strengthen our hearts. Give us the strength to stand, and put the wind of Your Spirit at our backs to move us forward as one people. We want to run without growing weary and walk without tiring out so strengthen our faith, Father. I pray for the devoted who feel unseen, unnoticed. Let them feel Your gaze as it lands on their devotion and fills them with strength to keep going. I pray they will be lifted up as they remember that You have
searched their hearts and You know them.
You know the depths of us and You love us and You look for us and You see us. You know every weary bone, our confusion and our weeping and our hiding and our longing to hear Your voice and know that You are near and that You see and You know. You know our coming and our going and our thoughts before they turn into words. And we have this place in us that yearns to know the depths of You, to know Your coming and going and Your thoughts and to see Your hand in everything.
Keep searching us, Father, revealing our every anxiety and offensive way and the places we’re hiding. Keep piercing our hearts with Your loving gaze so that they will look more like Yours.
He seeks and saves the lost and He leaves the crowd to search for one and He brings back the scattered and binds up the broken and strengthens the sick. He keeps vigil and He sings over us and watches over our way and though He searches, we are never hidden from Him.
And today I found this in my journal.
I was overcome with both gratitude and laughter because I had forgotten writing that at the beginning of the year. But God remembered and instead of allowing me to go through the motion of prayer as I drifted off, He took the time to remind me of this year’s searching and finding.
Have you felt God’s searching this year? Searching for your fellowship, your intercession, your devotion? Searching your heart, to make it more like His? If so, I pray He found what He was searching for and that despite the kind of year it’s been, you’ve been strengthened and encouraged to take the place you’ve been called to occupy, next to Him. If you have sensed His gaze but pulled away, let me say this – I know. I know that it can feel much easier to stay in the shadows than to come into the light of His searching. But I also know that the shadows are lonely and missing Him is the worst kind of missing anyone. So don’t pull away, don’t shrink back. The shadows aren’t hiding you from God, but they may be hiding God from you.
Hidden in Him, never from Him.