The Thrill of Seeking Joy
“Aimez-vous la luge?” I asked our young student from France. His wide eyes grew even larger.
“No! No! No!”
Obviously my search for “roller coaster” in the pocket dictionary I had with me got the answer I had guessed already. He did NOT like them! There was no way the two of us would join my husband and three children on Disneyland’s Matterhorn. We found an alternate, less stressful ride, congratulating ourselves on our good sense.
I am not a thrill seeker. I prefer the virtual rides where I’m sitting in a chair or my feet are planted firmly on solid ground while the terrifying heights and sudden swoops and turns play out on a screen. No amount of coaxing or teasing will get me into the real thing!
I am a seeker though of other things: truth, justice, help, peace, answers, God’s will, His counsel and advice, His face.
I need to be careful where I’m seeking those things, though. The Bible is clear about staying away from omens and spiritists… fortunetellers and the like. But then there are those who claim that the seeking should be inward, not outward. I need to BE the love, the friend, the honesty, the peace I am seeking. Oh that old story again. Look to myself and my own understanding. Be my own god. That’s a dead end result too, the one the Lord warns me about not leaning on (Proverbs 3:5).
So where is God really found? In His word, of course… as I read it, as I hear it preached, as I see it lived out in the lives of His people… a living message. I know this seeking is an ongoing thing, an attempt to fully answer all of my questions about life, about God’s plan. Seeking to understand when it’s impossible to fully understand this side of heaven… the old “now I see in a mirror dimly” from I Corinthians 13:12.
But how exactly am I seeking? It’s important for me to keep the right attitude. I can’t be trying to fit answers to ones I’ve already decided for myself. The answers that will allow me to justify and confirm my actions. The ones that will console me that I’m doing just fine, thank you. If I’m not really seeking to understand, I shouldn’t even be asking the questions in the first place. Then I’m no better than the Jewish leaders who questioned Jesus in order to trip Him up or catch Him saying something treasonous or blasphemous.
So what exactly should I be seeking? That’s pretty clear from Scripture. His kingdom and righteousness, the life of grace and peace and love, is our primary goal since that is the basis for all His other blessings (Matthew 6:33).
And the “who” is straightforward too: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6 NIV). While this sounds like a spiritual game of hide and seek, He then reassures me in Acts that He is not far away from anyone (17:27). He isn’t making this hard.
Best of all He promises to be found. He isn’t running away from me. He won’t abandon me.
But who am I kidding? Am I the one really seeking after God all the time? I can’t even take credit for that first pursuit. I know it was God who sought after me in the beginning. He was fighting for my soul as the devil, that roaring lion, was seeking to devour me (See I Peter 5:8 ESV). After all, no one who doesn’t know Him really seeks God. Spiritually dead people don’t have it in them. It’s when He reveals Himself, that grace-filled moment of faith, that the understanding of who He really is starts making sense.
Even after He has claimed me as His own… caught me, tagged me, marked me as redeemed… I need to actually get out of God’s way as He keeps seeking after me. Stop trying to convince myself that I am the righteous pursuer in this search.
Because it was my Lord Jesus who came to seek me when I was lost. He’s the one who gives me the faith to even know He is still there to seek after. And He continues to fend off that roaring lion.
When I was a child, seeking after my friends until the street lights came on was a glorious delight. Now I get the same enjoyment, pleasure, thrill out of this wonderful pursuit of life I’m experiencing. And I know my Lord Jesus is right there enjoying it with me too.
Leave the rollercoaster thrills to someone else. I’d much rather be a joy seeker!
Leaving my guilt at the cross,