She pressed a steaming cup to her lips and uttered something about ignoring God.
Compassionate glances were exchanged across the table. Compassion and empathy. Because every woman at that table understood her plight. It’s the human condition: We tend to forget about God. Sometimes it’s intentional, like when we’re angry, but other times, we simply fix our eyes on our to-do lists and plow through life without a second thought.
“I’m pretty sure every one of us has been there,” the gracious Bible study facilitator responded. “Let’s use this time to reconnect with him.”
I looked at that dear woman across the table, and I remembered all too many seasons in my life when I’d ignored God. Ironically, it’s usually when things are going relatively well. When there are no crisis situations, no emergencies, and no hard decisions to be made, I can easily settle into a flow of ignoring God. I begin to live like I don’t need him, and unfortunately, it often takes a crisis to shift my focus back to him.
God pursues us, even while we’re living completely for ourselves and ignoring him. The simple fact that this woman was at a Bible study is evidence of his hand in her life, somehow motivating her to take a step in his direction. It’s the quiet whisper in the night that beckons me to turn off the television and seek his face. It’s my too-tight khakis, reminding me I’ve been turning to the cupboard instead of the Lord far too often. It’s the low level of stress running through my mind, leaving me anxious and disconnected. God uses these slight discomforts to tilt our chins upward, our eyes in his direction.
Illness, breakdowns, and emergency situations are all circumstances God uses to draw me back to him in seasons of apathy. When I’m too focused on my life to turn to him and seek his face, he often puts me flat on my back, allows my emotions to plummet to a breaking point, or permits a trial in my everyday life. In my desperation, he gets my attention. He’ll do the same for you. Do you see all the ways he’s pursued you over the years? The times he brought you to a place of immobility so that you might cry out to him. The trial that brought you to your knees in prayer. He’s pursuing you in love.
Responding to his pursuit looks a little different for each of us, depending on where we’re at. For one, it might mean asking that friend who’s always talking about Jesus to share more. For another, it might be walking through the doors of a church for the first time in twenty years. For another, it quite possibly means pulling the dusty Bible off the shelf. Maybe it means all of this and more. Let’s pause to pray about what he might be calling us to do in the midst of his pursuit. The journey into his heart of love will be worth it.
Have you sensed God pursuing you lately? In what ways do you see him moving in your life and calling you to go deeper with him?