Seeking and finding God PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:10

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

We normally look for something before we can find it. But there are instances when without looking, we find something. In these cases, we usually call the person involved as a lucky finder, or someone enjoying a windfall or some manna from heaven.

This can happen in the world of religion. A good example would be the dramatic conversion of St. Paul who, even in the midst of his most hostile campaign against early Christians, heard the voice of Christ that led to his instant turn-around.

Many of the patriarchs, prophets and other prominent characters in the Bible were of a similar situation. Without looking for God or unhappy with God’s call, they were called just the same, and even pursued as some of them tried to run away. The prophet Jonah is a perfect example.

St. Paul quoted the prophet Isaiah to describe this phenomenon: “I have been found by those who did not seek me. I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” (Rom 10,20) Truth is, whether we are looking for him or not, God is always around and is actively intervening in our lives.

But for all that, we usually have to look for God to find him. Christ himself said so: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mt 6,33)

The same idea is reiterated when Christ said: “Ask, and it will given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.” (Mt 7,7-8)

This insistence to look for God is especially understandable in the context of those instances when God allows a person to experience what is called “the dark night of the soul.” It’s to test him, to strengthen him, to purify him. And so the person concerned simply has to insist in looking for God despite the difficulties.

We are given the assurance of finding God if we look for him earnestly. From the prophet Jeremiah, we have these words: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 29,13)

Yes, we have to seek God with our utmost effort, echoing this sentiment of David when he got lost in the wilderness: “O God, you are my God. I earnestly seek you. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Ps 63,1)

We have to reassure ourselves that such effort will always be rewarded a hundredfold by God himself who cannot be outdone in generosity. Remember Christ’s words: “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or wife or children or field for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19,29)

We have to learn how to seek and find God in all things, big and small, and in all occasions and situations, good and bad. If we have to use the divine logic, we should first learn to seek and find God in the little things of each day before we can find him in the big things, and in the very ordinary, routine things before we can see him especially in the most trying moments of our life.

Let us always remember that everything can and should be related to God, especially those instances when we are most vulnerable, weak and miserable. It goes without saying that the good times we have should be moments of thanking God, especially when we experience big successes and victories which, if not related to God, can intoxicate and spoil us.

As St. Josemaria Escriva once said: “There is something holy, something divine hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each of you to discover it.” God is everywhere.  To capture this reality, we need to learn how to be a contemplative even right in the middle of the world.

We should learn to detect the presence of God in everything and to take part in his abiding providence over us. He always invites us to cooperate with him in governing his creation.

He even invites us to “subdue the earth and have dominion over it.” (Gen 1,26-28) He invites us to complete his work of creation with him. As knowing and free collaborators, we are “God’s fellow workers.” (1 Cor 3,9)

So, there’s always basis to find and work with God if we look for him actively.