Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:7
Did you ever lose something important? It can be a real pain in the neck to stop everything and look for something we misplace. Maybe for you it’s your phone, keys or shoes, for me it’s my glasses. I’m at that lovely age where I need reading glasses. In an attempt not to waste time looking for them, I’ve purchased 5 or 6 pair from the dollar store and have them strategically placed all over the house, good plan right…not so much! I still spend too many minutes retracing my steps and trying to find a pair when I need them. I was looking for a pair the other day and I remembered the three things my dad used to say when we lost something. Sometimes he would say, “Good grief child, you’d lose your head if it wasn’t screwed on to your shoulders!” If he didn’t say that, then he would offer the following helpful tidbit, “Well, I don’t know where it is but I know you’ll find it in the last place you look!” The last really helpful thing he would say was, “Humm, I can’t imagine what happened to it since you put it right back in the proper place it came from!” I can laugh now, but when I was a little girl I didn’t find much humor in his wisdom.
Lost stuff is one thing, lost souls are quite another. When Jason was little, he was shopping with me and while I was busy looking at a stuffed rack of winter coats, he crawled inside one of the circular clothing racks and hid. I panicked when I couldn’t find him. After a few short seconds of frantically calling his name my racing heart slowed a little when he peeked his little chubby cheeks through the clothes and screamed “I’m right here mom!” I’ll never forget that feeling and the hug that came right before the scolding was the best hug ever! I went through a time this spring where I felt a little lost. I was continuing my daily prayer but I just felt like God wasn’t as close as he usually was. I felt like I was drifting away and I just couldn’t find my way back. I know it’s not uncommon for people to go through periods of dryness in their prayer life but I sure didn’t like it. When things were most difficult the evil one was trying to convince me God had abandoned me I began to pray that God would find me and bring me back and close the gap I felt between us. That was my prayer for several weeks and on the darkest day, I read these words from the Prophet Malachi, return to me, that I may return to you.
Once those words were stuck in my head and my heart I began to realize God hadn’t gone anywhere! He is the fixed object in this relationship…I am the variable. In order for him to come to me, I had to go to him. I had been seeking the good feeling of his presence, I wanted his blessing and his grace but I wasn’t seeking his presence. I wanted a big heap of me and my happy blessed life with a side of God…he wanted it the other way around. I wondered why he wasn’t answering my prayers and bringing me comfort and peace; he was just frantically calling my name trying to bring me back home to his plan. I was uncomfortable because I wasn’t where he was asking me to be. He wanted more of my time, my heart and my trust. He wanted me to return to him so he could return to me. When I was trying to find my way and figure out what I needed to change, scripture tells me that all the while, he was frantically calling my name and searching, much like the day I lost Jason and he rejoiced greatly when I returned. The day I got it figured out was a great day and that is exactly the day I remembered the story of a lost Jason. I have no doubt he popped that story into my head just to prove a point and I’ve never felt so loved! I guess my dad’s wisdom was right. He was the last place I looked, and it’s amazing how easy it is to find things when they are in their proper place…God first not me first!
A Seed To Plant: If you happen to be feeling a little distant from God, ask him to woo you back then have the courage to return with your whole heart.
Blessings on your day!
Sheri is a veteran motivational humorist who combines her huge sense of humor and her deep love of God into presentations that leave the audience laughing, thinking, praying and finding God's fingerprints in all corners of life! More...