“Ask, and it will be given you: search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” ~Matthew 7:7 (NRSV).
For people who have magically found God, the mystery is less mysterious. But just how do we embrace a God who has not, apparently, embraced us? How do we find God when all our searching has revealed possibly nothing?
For some it seems easy; and others just never get the feel for God at all—yet, we are told that we are all God’s children.
A hard concept to grasp is that God seeks us out. We may go searching for him, but in reality this Lord has already opened our heart to accept the Divine.
If we are seeking to embrace God, surely we are ready to receive. We have to believe that God rewards the search of those who are beginning to investigate; to explore more about themselves as much as God. After all, Jesus says, in the gospel of Luke, “the
Being able to embrace God can be assisted by:
1. Learning more about God by reading one of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. (Mark is the shortest and is told like an adventure story. Here is the link.)
2. Speak to trusted others who have a good relationship with God—for embracing God is about having a willingness to be in relationship; to be a friend of God’s. God wants to befriend us all.
3. Crying out to God in our need. God hears. Read the books of Psalms and Job in the Bible. God is not foreign to or upset by our complaint.
4. Finding all sorts of different ways of investigating God and finding answers to the deepest questions we have. Many of these questions are so personal we need to trust God (we may not even yet trust ourselves!).
5. Quiet spaces in nature where we can think and meditate help us experience God, but these are unlikely to help if we don’t know what that experience is supposed to feel like. That shouldn’t stop us, however, because we can look back and see where God was. He was there all along.
6. Go to church. Go on, I dare you. Those churchy kinds won’t bite and they won’t judge you either; if they did they’d prove their weak relationship with God. Active Christians, we can see, are very well aware that compared to God every human being is faulty—but, the grace of God never expects perfection. Indeed, God expects imperfection from us. Every church should have a sign on the front saying, “NO PERFECT PEOPLE ALLOWED!”
7. There are those who will have tried all of the above, and are still no closer. Our hearts go out to these, for God is the prime source of peace and joy in this life. The process of embracing God always has a chance, though, if we never give up looking.
Whoever we are, no matter how close or far we are from God, let us all continue to ask, and search, and knock at heaven’s door. We are all God’s children.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.