I must confess to you, dear readers, that I have never been on a quest before – well never officially or on purpose anyway. nothing that I’ve signed up for or prepared for, or trained for in anticipation of participating in this thing called a quest. The notion of a quest implies something of great purpose, a noble, worthy, cause to pursue something of great value at great personal expense, a journey both dangerous and exciting.
And yet without my noticing, I find myself embarked upon a quest of sorts these past few days for the commonest of objects (or so I thought until my search began). It started without preparation or planning, I simply sought to purchase the needed item when I was at one of those large stores that has everything from food to clothes to household stuff to electronics to hygiene to cleaning supplies. I mean there is nothing these stores don’t stock, except the item I wanted to purchase.
So my first revelation was that this item is no longer common place or easy to find. This new knowledge has turned my casual search into a full blown quest. Scarcity has a way of making an item more desirable if not more valuable. My quest now involves going from store to store in search of this elusive item. Not exactly scaling mountains to find the object of my desire, but driving in crazy, city traffic might just qualify as daringly dangerous. Certainly my persistence in continuing to seek out this item even though I am met with defeat (a no, we don’t carry that) at each store, should count for something, right?
And so my quest continues, leaving me discouraged and defeated because I cannot find and purchase the object of my quest, the item I desire to obtain and possess, the thing I have determined that I need, that I must have and cannot believe that it no longer exists. (except in memory of days gone by) It is sad but true, my quest for the ever elusive recipe card has ended in failure. The irony of this failed quest is that I, myself, am not a cook. (so I don’t need recipes, therefore I don’t need recipe cards) I sought these for a friend.
Questions from the quest abound. Why has this once common household item vanished from store shelves? (was there a conspiracy or collusion?) Do people no longer cook? Or do they pull up recipes on their phone, eliminating the need to have them written on a recipe card? Or with all the cooking shows available now are people just “winging it” rather than following a recipe? Then there’s eating out or having premade dinners delivered, (like Nutrisystem or Weight Watchers) again no need for a recipe.
I have actually experienced the loss of other unrelated products that I have used. They just mysteriously disappear without notice from store shelves, giving way to other brands and other products in their place. Some things just cannot be found, that once could be found, no matter how long or how diligently I look for them. So this is not my first unsuccessful search in life.
Sometimes I feel like that with God. I have felt His Presence, known His comfort and His mercy and then I look for Him again and feel like He’s not there. I feel the need to search for Him, to find what I once possessed. It’s then that these words are particularly reassuring to me. ” ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord”
This is the reassurance that I long for. My quest to find God will not end in defeat but in victory. I have His word on that! He will be found by me if I am seeking Him. When I am experiencing hardship or difficulty of any kind I am likely to feel more keenly my desire to “find” God and to know that He is with me.
These words in Isaiah 46:1 remind me that, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” He is ever-present, I don’t have to go on a quest and search hi and low for Him. When my pain in this life is great I can know that, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) God is present with me, He is close; my quest to know Him will not prove fruitless. God will never disappear. ” ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ ” (Revelation 1:8) ” . . . from everlasting to everlasting You are God.” (Psalm 90:2) God will not simply cease to exist, like the recipe cards I sought apparently did.
God will not become unavailable or impossible to find. On the contrary ” . . . He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. . . . the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:3-4 & 8)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
My quest to find God will not end like my quest for the no longer existent recipe cards. Not only did God promise that He would be found but He actually is on His own quest seeking my heart! “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
I may be the seeker but I am also the sought after! (see post “the pursued”)
my quest for my Creator is a quest that will end well!
sincerely, Grace Day