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Apr 16, 2020 08:00am
Now is the Perfect Time for an Appointment with God
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As I sit to write these words, I have just listened to our national leaders warn us that we are facing possibly the worst week of our generation. The enormity of that statement overwhelms the mind and crushes the heart. We are face to face with something that seems determined to destroy us and our way of life. Many of us feel the most helpless than we have ever felt. 

We feel ill equipped to handle the realities of our current circumstances. That feeling is justified; we are not equipped to handle these circumstances. At least not on our own.

So what do we do? How do we handle these circumstances? Where do we turn for help? You are probably thinking that I am going to suggest that we turn to God, so you see no need to keep reading. After all, you have probably heard that before – but now the situation is different. 

Considering the reality of our collective circumstances, maybe we need to take another look at the message that offers hope and help in times of seeming hopelessness and helplessness: 

With God, there is always hope. With God, there is always help

In times like these, both of those feelings may seem hidden, but they are still there. In times like these, we must depend on the promise that if we seek hope and help from God through Jesus, we can find it. When it seems that everything else in our world has changed, that truth has not:

“Seek and you will find.” (Matthew 7:7)

(Before I go any further, it is helpful to understand that we all are suffering through this time of uncertainty and disruption. It cuts across all segments of society. No one is exempt. We are all in this together. Even the most spiritual and faithful people I know are having to work a little harder to find encouragement.) 

You should not feel discouraged that you feel discouraged. Most of us are dealing with the same feelings – at least part of the time.

SO WHY WOULD A PERSON OF FAITH FEEL DISCOURAGED?

Well, first of all, we’re human. Bombard us with enough bad news and we will get discouraged – at least momentarily. Maybe there are some Super Christians that don’t, but I haven’t met any of them yet. 

For the rest of us, this adversity also seems overwhelming at times. In our hearts, we do trust God and we do believe that he is in full control. But the gut level truth is that even though we trust God, we have rarely been forced into the totally dependent state we’re in now. 

It’s not that we worry about God not being in control, but we now recognize more than ever that we are not. And we were not prepared for the starkness of that. 

“Trust” and “Recognizing Our Total Dependence” are two very different things.

It is entirely possible to trust God for years and yet never fully face the harsh reality of being totally dependent on him. We are now faced with that reality, and to most of us it’s unsettling.

Then, there are those of us who have believed in Jesus as our Savior and have trusted him for our eternal life but have never fully trusted him in our “here and now” life. Without that trust, in times like these we will inevitably fall into either fear or denial. Either emotion is dangerous to our well being.

Regardless of where we find ourselves on the Dependence or Trust scale, now more than ever, there is a need to:

“Seek and you will find.” (Matthew 7:7)

WHERE DO I TURN IF I AM NOT A PERSON OF FAITH?

If you are still reading, maybe that means you haven’t completely slammed the door on Jesus. 

Maybe you don’t understand it all, but you realize that there has to be a higher authority somewhere. 

Maybe you learned about Jesus as a child but just never got around to saying, “I do”. 

Maybe Jesus was never a part of your upbringing and you really have no point of reference.

But maybe in times like these you realize that you need something that will bring you both hope and help.

Maybe there has never seemed to be a good time for you to seek Jesus. But now everything has changed. 

Maybe now is the time. 

In fact, maybe now is the perfect time.

Right now the doors to church buildings across our land are locked and services are being held online. 

Right now you have the incredible opportunity to visit churches from the comfort of your own home. 

Right now you can hear their message of Jesus without that uncomfortable feeling of walking into an unfamiliar church setting. 

Right now you can reach out to a church with questions without feeling pressured to attend or to be visited. 

Right now is the perfect moment to seek God.

“Seek and you will find.” (Matthew 7:7)

OK, JUST HOW DO I SEEK?

Regardless of whether you are a mature Christian or a novice seeker, your searching will look different from everyone else. I won’t try to tell you how you should be seeking God. But I will share with you some steps that are helping me in this time of difficulty:

1. I have started scheduling appointments with God. I know this sounds weird and I know it’s unnecessary because God is always available. But it forces me to set aside a dedicated time to intentionally seek. I set the alarm on my phone to alert me a few minutes prior to my appointment.

2. I have set aside a specific place for my appointment where I will not be distracted. My spot is a rocking chair in an unused bedroom.

3. I block out a specific amount of time for my appointment and set the timer on my phone. For me, that amount of time is 30 minutes. My appointment may last longer, but it’s never shorter. If I run out of things to discuss with God before my time is up, I just sit there. It has been in some of those moments when I have more deeply found out the things he wants to discuss with me.

4. I always have my Bible with me for my appointment. Sometimes I find a need to use it and sometimes I don’t. If you don’t have a Bible, you likely have a phone and can find the Bible there.

5. I am not hesitant to use google, or whatever, to help me find the perfect Bible verse or commentary for my questions in those moments. I have heard of people who can automatically open their Bibles to a random page and find exactly what they need. I am not one of those people.

6. I always have a way to take notes during my appointment. For me, that is a pen and a legal pad. For you, it might be a journal or your phone. Don’t underestimate the importance of this. I have found nothing puts me more into a posture of seeking and finding than to come expecting something significant enough to write down.

7. I always go into my appointment with an idea of what I want to discuss with God that day, and I start there, but I strive to let him take the conversation where it needs to go.

In these days of difficulty, many of us are recognizing our need for God in deeper ways than ever before. You have probably prayed more in the last few weeks than at any time in your life. Many of us are seeking hope and help beyond what we have ever done.

And we can find that hope and help right where it has really always been.

“SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND.” (Matthew 7:7)

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