You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13 (KNJV)
I was trying to watch a baseball game on television one rainy evening, but the picture kept breaking up. Then the screen went black, and white letters appeared across the bottom: “Searching for satellite signal. Please stand by.”
“Oh, great!” I grumbled. “This is the best part of the game!”
The weather had been stormy, and it isn’t uncommon for us to lose the signal to our satellite dish during a particularly strong storm. But it wasn’t storming, just raining. Lately we’d been losing the signal a lot, even if it was foggy out. If we didn’t lose the signal altogether, the picture would break up into colorful fragments or slow down, like someone was playing with the slow motion button on a VCR remote.
After a half hour of trying to keep up with the score on a fragmented, silent screen, I gave up and went to bed. The next day, however, the reception wasn’t any better, but then again, neither was the weather.
“I don’t remember the reception ever being this bad,” I complained to my husband.
“Maybe I didn’t angle the dish right after I took it down and put it on the post,” he wondered. We were siding siding our house at the time, and he’d taken the dish off the side of the house and attached it, facing the southern sky, to a post in the ground.
Now he pulled out the instruction manual and flipped through until he came to the section on adjusting the dish. Fifteen minutes later, we had a clear picture. Although the dish had been pointed in the right direction, it had to be at a precise angle to receive the signal from the sending satellite.
Sometimes the storms of life interfere with the signals God sends me. Or sometimes, even though I’m facing the right direction, I’m not receiving what He’s telling me because I don’t have the right angle. That “angle” could be selfishness, hurt feelings, a touch of envy or jealousy, or a simmering anger. Maybe I’m nursing a grudge and harboring unforgiveness. Or perhaps my desires are becoming worldly, or I’m pursuing something I know is not in God’s will for me.
Whatever the interference – whether outside of my control, such as a storm, or within my control, such as my own rebelliousness – it’s causing me to lose contact with a God who promises never to leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Hebrews 13:5).
So how do I adjust my angle so that I’m once again getting a clear picture? First I pray, confessing my willfulness and sin. If a life-storm is the problem, I ask God to guide me through it, protect me, and strengthen me.
Then I read His Word. While I don’t play “Bible roulette,” picking verses at random, God’s Holy Spirit often brings to mind portions of Scripture that address my beleaguered spirit. Frequently the day’s scheduled reading is just what I need. His Word truly is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 19:105), “full of living power, sharper than the sharpest knife,” cutting deep into my innermost thoughts and desires, revealing to me what I really am (Hebrews 4:12).
Just reading His Word isn’t enough, however. I must meditate on it, think of how it relates to me, how to apply what I’ve read to my own situation. Then I pray again, asking God to forgive me, help me, and guide me.
Unlike my satellite dish, my angle needs adjusted every day – even moment by moment. But I know, whether storms are raging outside or inside, if I seek God with all my heart, He has promised I will find Him. Only then will I have a clear picture.
Thank You, God, that You are never far away. Why, You’re as close as the mention of Your name! Amen.
Read and meditate on Psalm 63:1–8
(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.