Last year I came to a crisis point in my faith. I lost Jesus.
It wasn’t until I read Brian Zahnd’s thoughts about Mary and Joseph losing and searching for Jesus in Jerusalem that I was able to put words to my loss. I lost my joy in reading Scripture. I lost my desire to be part of community. I lost trust in the hope of God’s church. I lost Jesus.
The funny thing about all this loss is it had nothing to do with my faith. I continued to believe in a loving God and His Son who came to save us in the most unexpected and unspectacular way imaginable. I never felt He was angry with me for “letting the bottom fall out” or for no longer participating in the big three: quiet time, scripture and prayer. But it did leave me feeling isolated, frustrated and quiet.
Sometimes when I lose things, I start back at the beginning. I work my way back to the last place I had the item in my hand and try to find it from there. Last year was much the same. Instead of wasting time plugging the holes and mending the cracks. I surrendered to a painful and unstoppable crumbling of faith, sometimes agonizingly slow, sometimes an avalanche of belief systems.
I watched it all come down, and I waited.
While I waited, a few gentle friends sat with me on the bare concrete foundation of my faith. Unlike Job’s companions, they didn’t correct or coerce, though I’m entirely certain they were praying for me under their breath – a gift I’m not entirely sure I would have welcomed at the time. We waited together, and as they listened they held my wonderings gently, trusting God to wait for me, trusting He wanted to be found even more than I wanted to find Him.God wants to be found more than we desire to find Him. He waits for us.Click To Tweet
And so we entered into Advent season, and a single habit ingrained in my soul years ago became a channel for Living Water again. Tentatively, I picked up a new Bible, whose clean white pages awaited new highlights and new inspirations. I began reading the verses of waiting and promise, examining God as I would a newborn babe, at the time when He was a newborn babe.
Just as water always seeks familiar pathways, wearing gentle layers and grooves into the ground, those four weeks awakened something small in me, brought me closer to the Savior who waits for me to find Him again, like a treasure in a field, like a buried talent left by an overcautious servant.
I’m standing on my windswept foundation again, gathering materials I will use to build new walls, with wide and welcoming windows, and generous open doors. I’m searching for Jesus and finding Him both in the familiar ways and in the most unexpected places. He’s wooing me gently, daring me to reengage like a lover after a long and perilous journey.
If you’ve been searching for Jesus too, maybe you’ve been made to feel lost or wrong or damaged beyond repair. May I gently hold your hand and say, it’s alright? What you’re feeling is cherished. What you’re asking isn’t offensive. Your searching isn’t a surprise to a God who is never disappointed by His children. He wants to be found. He dares you to seek and keep on seeking.
You do not seek Him alone. In fact you follow a tradition which has continued for a thousand years.
And so I tell you, keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. Luke 11:9
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