Seeking Christ in the Calm
Posted by Luther D. Powell on July 26, 2012
I sometimes have the strangest, and yet, most fulfilling epiphanies in the middle of prayer. It’s one of the reasons I value vocal prayer time so much; when voicing my innermost thoughts to The Creator, I learn more about myself and my connection to Him. Most recently, it really hit me while praying one night that I don’t seek Christ enough during times of peace. Prayer happens sporadically for me. Sometimes I pray because I have new requests on behalf of friends and family members, sometimes I pray because I’m troubled, sometimes I pray because I realize I haven’t prayed in a long time. Overall, it has become rare for me to pray –not just FOR stuff, but simply to converse with God, when life has calmed down.
Some of you reading might think, “Well DUH, you’re supposed to pray all the time, not just in hard times.” This is true, but prayer isn’t exactly what I mean. Prayer is part of it, but I mean, actively seeking God in peace. How often do we do that? How many of us are just wired to aim for closeness with Jesus no matter what? I’ve met a few people whom I could believe are like that, but mostly, the friends and family members I know to be Christ followers seem to call on Him in more obvious times of need. We revert back to ‘normality’ once God has come along and fixed everything up for us, and oftentimes, we don’t even notice that He fixes anything!
Seeking Christ in the calm is just as important as seeking Him when life is rough. In fact, I might go so far as to say it’s even more important, because to be honest, it’s pretty easy for me to call for help when I can see my life crumbling around me. One can cry out to God, or anybody who can help, out of sheer instinct sometimes, just knowing that help is available. But when you don’t feel like you need Him right here, right now, how easy is it to see Him? How easy is it to feel Him, to love Him, to feel Him loving on you?
It may become routine to ask God for help when we ‘need Him most,’ but the truth is, there is no ‘need Him most.’ Do you need God less when life seems to be going your way? Absolutely not! How would you feel if God actually appeared to you before and after a big problem in your life occurred, like a cable guy popping into your house, then leaving just after saying, “Hey, I think I fixed your problem. Have a nice day”? The God of the universe doesn’t just come and go to fix things, and if He DID work that way, the universe would probably be in shambles! It’s pretty lame for me, for you, for anybody, to even imagine God working like that, because we don’t just need Him in hard times. We need Him constantly, and we need to come to Him consistently.
If we can’t seek Christ in times of peace, then how can our faith be true when we seek Him any other time? How can we know for sure that He’ll answer our prayers if we don’t have the comfortable relationship of seeing Him and believing in Him daily to back us up? Not to say God doesn’t answer prayers if we don’t pray with faith, because heck, I find myself in rough times praying for God to GIVE me faith in Him. Faith is just kind of a nice thing to have when you call yourself a Christian, you know?
I’ve noticed that during the peaceful times I don’t actively seek closeness with God, I’m more tempted and tested by the enemy. That is what I believe, so take it or leave it. Either way, makes sense, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t Old Scratch try to bring us down when we think we’re okay? We leave the door to temptation and sin wide open when life looks okay and we have nothing to ask God for. That’s why I ask friends for prayer requests; I want things to pray for so I don’t slack off! The invisible war around us can have visible effects on our lives if we don’t stay on our toes, keep our guard up.
Christ tore the veil in half so we could seek Him at any time. So why do we only choose to ask for help? Why not just say “hi!” once in a while? God is our Heavenly Father, our Creator and Sustainer, our Counselor and Holy Friend. If you only talk to your human friends when you need help, that’s not much of a friendship. I talk to my friends to learn about them and myself, so imagine how much more you’ll learn and grow by talking with the biggest Friend you’ve got!
Luther D. Powell
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