“A common mistake we make is that we look for God in places where we ourselves wish to find him, yet even in the physical reality this is a complete failure. For example, if you lost your car keys, you would not search where you want to search, you would search where you must in order to find them.”
― Criss Jami,
One of the most important tasks in our human existence is knowing who we are and what we were created for. This is the difference between existing and living, or to take it one step further, living with purpose.
It’s easy to get distracted by the external and internal pressures of life. Trust me, I know.
I am a firm believer that we are all created with a divine purpose. The foundation of that purpose is quite simple. We were created to love and to be loved. To fulfill this purpose we were given special gifts, talents, strengths, and (whether we like it or not) weaknesses that will help us live out our purpose.
I find myself slowly floating away from my purpose from time to time. I loose sight of who I am and what I was put on earth to do. I start to get distracted and loose sight of my destination, next thing you know I am heading all the way left. I find myself lost and then searching for God in a place where He clearly didn’t send me.
From Fun to Panic
A few weeks ago my sister and I stopped at CVS to pick up some medicine for my niece, who was 1 month old at the time, now she’s 2 months… and I am currently one of those annoying aunts who posts nothing but baby pictures on my Instagram (whoops!). Any who, as we were in the checkout line a small child, the age of 4 or 5 came running down the middle of CVS hollering and crying, “Mommy!!! Mommy!!!”.
I recognized the little boy. He was running around playing with another little girl near the diaper isle just a few minutes prior to this incident. He was having the time of life running around playing hide-and-seek. I also saw his mom and dad checking on him and asking him not to run around.
How things had changed in a matter of minutes. The joyful and playful little boy now had tears everywhere, there was a scene, he almost ran out of the CVS and straight into the parking lot in desperation, perhaps thinking that his mother had left him behind. Thankfully a kind gentleman caught him just in time and brought him to the cashier.
“Honey, are you lost?” asked the cashier.
“Yes…” the little boy sobbed.
“What’s your name?” she asked kindly.
“James,” he said as he tried catch his breath in between his panic stricken sobs.
The cashier went on the intercom and said, “Will the mother of James please come to the cashier in the front.” Within seconds the mom came running after her child and picked him up and soothed him. No more tears.
All The Way Left
Like our little boy James, we all get lost from time to time. We get lost in our thoughts, expectations, ideas of what life should look like, lies the enemy plants in our heads, in the external pressures placed on us by this world… and so on.
This happened to me. I got lost. I lost my way, similar to how our little boy James lost sight of his mother. At first, I was too distracted to notice I had even lost sight of God.
Our little boy James was distracted by his fun. I on the other hand was distracted by my singleness, lack of progress in my career, lack of emotional control, my checking and savings account, bills, bills, and more bills, oh and did I mention that I was still single? My older brother is married, my younger sister got married, by best friend got married, then my other best friend got married, and I am just here trying to figure out how in the world I am still single, because gosh darn it I am cute! OK, all jokes aside… 28 and single was never in my plans, BUT God… He has something else in store for me.
So, I was caught up with all these things and left certain thoughts unchecked. I started to think, God doesn’t care. He is OMNIPRESENT, OMNISCIENT, and OMNIPOTENT… I know He see me struggling, I know He know I am struggling, and I know He can do something about my struggles! And yet, it seemed as if He wasn’t doing anything.
Here’s the sad part – many of us when we get distracted by the grind of daily living loose sight of God and then we get lost and then we get desperate. Like the little boy, we will find ourselves frantically trying to find peace (which really can only be found in God), but we start heading in the wrong direction.
Our little boy James was heading straight for danger in a car-filled parking lot, he could have been hit by a car or ended up in the hands of a stranger who could’ve hurt him. We do this. We run in the opposite direction from God straight into danger, and as rough as this sounds our own destruction. We run towards bad habits, towards people and places that may bring hurt to our lives… I don’t know about you, but that sure describes me.
Lost, Now What?
Thank God for his never-ending love and grace, and a special thanks to the Holy Spirit for rerouting us. You all remember the kind gentleman who rerouted little boy James to the cashier? Yup, that’s what the Holy Spirit does. He gently nudges us towards God. Jesus hops on the intercom and says, “Hey Dad, remember that time I hung up on the cross and paid the price for them… we found another one!” and here’s the beautiful part, my favorite part, God the father comes and picks us up and soothes us.
It doesn’t matter that He told us to stop running, it doesn’t matter that He told us to go right and we went left, it doesn’t matter that we stopped going to church, forgot to pray, didn’t read the bible enough. All that matters to God is that HIS child was lost and now he/she is found.
Y’all think Jesus died on a cross so that OUR mistakes remove us from God’s love? Look at what the word of God says, in Romans 8:31 – 39:
“31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When the word says “nothing” it means “NOTHING”. Not our rebellion, not our mistakes, not our wrong turns, nothing! King David said, “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”
Sometimes the Bible uses some fancy words, Sheol just means hell. Yup. David said even if make my bed in hell you are there.
So, honey, you can run, but you can’t hide. If you are anything like me… you may be frustrated. You may be thinking, well I really just want to do me. This God thing it’s too hard. I can’t go to church and pray and worship and be godly…. I am here to tell you, yes you can. You don’t have to do it alone, God will send you help through the Holy Spirit. He loves you too much to let you wander straight into danger. That isn’t how our God operates. Nor is he waiting for you to come back so he can give you a good old whooping. He’s slow to anger. He just wants us to come home so He could pour out His love on us. That’s what were created for – to be loved.
I hope this encourages you and if you need any prayer or just someone to share you struggles with. I am here for you! Stay blessed 🙂