Finding Him

“Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat!” (Job 23:3, NJKV).
Dear Friend Job,
You certainly had a rough time of it, my old man. And who can blame you for the bitterness you felt, since you couldn’t see anything that was going on in the background?
As early as you appeared in the Sacred History, you didn’t have much advantage either. You didn’t see the great acts of God in behalf of his people. Much less did you have the view of God in the flesh.
Where to find God? That appears to be our dilemma, doesn’t it, my fine patriarch? But it turns out that question is barking up the wrong tree. For God is there, ever present, every watching over his own.
Though that kind of language can certainly be justified, and especially in your case, turns out that God has already found us. And, without making a game of it, God lets himself be found by his creatures.
– After a fright from the angel of the Lord, shepherds found Jesus lying in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes (Luke 2:12, 16).
– Oriental wise men were led by a star, not by a King, to find the young Child and worship him (Matt. 2:1-2, 8, 10-11).
– After a panic, Jesus’ parents find him chatting in the temple with the scholars (Luke 2:46).
– In two similar moments, Andrew runs to a brother and Philip, to a friend, to say, “We have found the Messiah!” (John 1:41, 45).
– The disciples find Jesus, having risen early to find a secluded spot to pray, only to get themselves rustled into a preaching trip (Mark 1:35-38).
– Bread-seeking multitudes find more than they were looking for, they found the Lord, for all the good it did them (John 6:25).
Jesus will even talk of the nature of the kingdom of Heaven as a man finding a treasure in a field or an extremely expensive pearl on the market (Matt. 13:44, 46).
You, Job, who searched so much for God, might consider it unfair that Isaiah can be so bold to say, as Paul will later quote him, “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me” (Romans 10:20).
When Jesus was on earth, it might have been easier to find God, if people had realized, with Nathanel, who he actually was. Which makes me think how much easier it is for me today, Job, to find God, more so that even in Jesus’ day, or yours.
Or is it?
It’s hard to find God past the Christmas tinsel or the court battles to “put Christ back in Christmas,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.
It’s hard to find God in that contemporary music they call Christian, but tastes commercial and sappy as secular pop stars (not to mention the instruments).
It’s hard to find God in the fast action of mega-churches or in the shallow sermons of pastors and preachers.
It’s hard to find God even in the stars anymore, what with all the pollution, street lights, and scientific searches for ETs.
So maybe you and I aren’t so far apart after all, Job. Our boils just take a different shape, maybe. So scoot over, make room, and we’ll scrape them with a piece of broken pot.
And while we scrape, let me pull out a battered old piece of leather with a few leaves in between to read and pass the time.
Since we have no stars zipping across the sky. No brilliantly lit angel to send us scurrying. No Transfiguration to leave us ga-ga. No quiet miracles to cause a ruckus in the crowds.
Just you and me, Job. And an old book.
Where do you want to start?
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

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A. A. Neale

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