But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29 NKJV
But from there.
There is where we find ourselves. At the least, feeling stranded in our homes. At the worst, embattled by the fight for life against a spreading illness.
I just can’t speak to the latter. The reports leave me speechless. But from there, I must not be voiceless. I can pray fervently for loved ones on the front lines. I have to call out for God’s help.
And I cry out: Pray with me.
While we wave to the delivery people — pray with me.
While we wash and spray and mask — pray with me.
What do we pray? Pray to seek God.
And pray to seek God with all your heart and soul.
You might not be all that familiar with the interiors of your heart and soul. They may seem too rundown to explore safely. Or they may seem to be too cluttered to be of use.
But from there is a place to start. From a heart and soul dependent on daily routine, mirroring a calendar jammed with notes and appointments that aren’t relevant anymore, now that much of your world has closed down around you. From a heart and soul given little attention in day-to-day life, that may seem too fragile to comprehend the strain and stress of others around you. From a heart and soul that you may not have spent much time wandering through, not while there were trends and goals to chase.
As you pray to seek God with all your heart and soul — in whatever shape they may be — seek to find His face, and seek to find His hand.
Why God’s Face?
If we find ourselves experiencing a sense of isolation as we pass each other wearing masks, that experience may actually derive from a pre-existing condition: our lack of intimacy with God. We may know God only by rumor. Maybe we know Him by brief introduction, and over the years, we’ve fallen out of touch. One way or the other, we can find ourselves unfamiliar with God.
But from there, seek God’s face so that you can discover the joy of God smiling on you, singing over you, seeing you. (Numbers 6:25, Zephaniah 3:17, Genesis 16:13, Psalm 16:9,11 NIV)
Seek God’s face, so that your face will begin to turn to His. So you can begin to fix your gaze on Him, since we tend to walk in the direction that we’re looking. Seek God’s face, so that you will know how to approach God.
As you approach, God is drawing near to you, and to your need for peace and joy.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD. Because He is at my right hand, with Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 NIV
Why God’s Hand?
If we find ourselves constantly monitoring the news for signs that people in charge are acting to relieve the concerns of this situation, we will find that good efforts are being made.
Still, if we measure these leaders by their responses to this crisis, at some point we will eventually find them faltering, and our anxiety will rise. For example, when nonessential businesses remain open, it seems economic concerns have outweighed public health. When we read that hospitals continue to lack protective equipment for staff, we may begin to see inaction in addressing the lack of resources. At these points, anxiety becomes dismay.
But from there, seek God’s hand, because He acts in righteousness and in power unlike anyone else.
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Unlike people at any level, God is immune to incompetence. He possesses the unlimited power of Creation, intervention and communication. (Psalm 8:3-4, 1 Kings 19:11-12 NIV) And unlike people at any level, God is immune to corruption. He acts in compassion and grace, reserving just judgment for a future time. (Psalm 103:8, 1 Peter 2:23, Numbers 23:19 NIV)
Our hearts and souls remain in need. But from there, it is God that we must seek.
In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 NIV
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up. Psalm 5:3 NKJV