Searching for Signal

You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. —Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV

I was watching a baseball game on television one rainy evening when the picture began breaking up.  The screen went black, and white letters appeared across the bottom: “Searching for satellite signal. Please stand by.”

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,” he said.

At the time we were siding our house, 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.

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 have the wrong 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. 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 causes 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. Or, 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 certain 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 119:105), “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 (Jeremiah 29:13). 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 reflect on Psalm 63:1–8.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

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