One thing which I happen to hear too often is of people looking for themselves. In conversations I’ve heard it so many times: “I need to find myself.” They say it with a grave tone of voice, as if it should imply that the day after they should sail for the farthest land to accomplish their mission. As a matter of fact I regret to say that, to this day, I don’t know of anyone coming back from that journey telling me: “I found myself.”
Some look at me strange, because I say that either I am not interested in finding myself or I am not lost at all. In both cases I am being looked at as an arrogant, or, at best, ignorant person. Sorry, I am not lost and do not intend to start looking for a self which is with me all the time.
I love the picture above. The man is Mr. Buster Keaton. The incident is exactly what this article speaks about.
Let us consider the story of a king. His name was Josiah. He became king of Judah at the age of eight and by the time he was sixteen the Bible tells us that “while he was still young, he began to seek after the God of David his father” (2 Chronicles 34:3 – Modern King James Version). Something amazing happened during his kingdom. “Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of Jehovah by Moses.” (2 Chronicles 34:14). They “carried the Book to the king” (2 Chronicles 34:16) and “read it before the king. And it happened when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his garments.” (2 Chronicles 34:18-19)
The young king found something more important than himself. The Word says he first “began to seek after God.” And since our God is a faithful God, He let Himself be found. In fact, not much later the Torah (The Law), the Word of God was found in the temple and it was made known unto him and someone read it to him. And the young king, as soon as he finds God and His Words, changes all of his ways and decides to serve God. Finding God is a life-changing experience!
“And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah and to keep His commandments and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.” (2 Chronicles 34:31)
I never heard of anyone finding themseves – maybe because that is not what we really need to be looking for to find the answers we need to live in peace of heart. But I have known of many people who found God and were sure they now had all that was missing before.
Why do we feel so empty when there is no reason for it? Maybe we sit on a couch in our living room in silence and meditate on the fact that we have all that we wanted in this life but we still feel empty, lost and don’t know why. The Bible says it is because of sin that separated us from the ideal state of communion with God we were originally created for. The feeling is that of missing something, a state of mind, a spiritual condition, though we don’t know what it is exactly, we still feel belongs to us and miss.
But if we seek, just like that young king of old, if we seek God, he will let us find Him and restore that which we have lost.
I am fully convinced – and my personal experience has confirmed it to me – that peace of the heart and rest for our souls is possible only in God and with God. It is useless, definetely unproductive, a waste of time and energy, to look for it somewhere else.
Jesus said: “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
We did not lose ourselves: we lost communion with God. This is the main cause of our sense of uncompleteness and uneasiness. And guess what: God is like that elephant next to mr. Keaton in the picture and we really have no excuses if we fail to see how close He really is.
Like Josiah all we need to do is learn from the Word how to get rid of that “paradise lost” feeling.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness …” (Matthew 6:33)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Maybe the book of the Law, the Bible, is in your home, lost somewhere, though still phisically quite visible on the shelf. Maybe you just have to look for it, open it up, read it and (re)find God there. Perhaps you found it long ago but you know it is still lost in someone else’s house and just because you found God, it is your precise moral duty to tell them about Him. Josiah did not keep his discovery for himself and so can’t we.
“And the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of Jehovah, and all the men of Judah, and the people of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people from the great to the small. And he read in their ears all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in the house of Jehovah.” (2 Chronicles 34:29-30)
I sincerely hope we won’t be found less obedient and excited about God’s Word than a sixteen-year-old (teen ager) king.
May the Lord bless His Word in our hearts.