Seeking God in troubled times

I am writing this in the week following the death of George Floyd in the United States. Perhaps for this reason I find myself more aware than usual of my great need for God - my personal need and our shared need for salvation. I feel this desperate longing for God to show up, to bring about redemption of what has been stolen, healing for deep wounds, and goodness in this place of great complexity. In a season such as this one, what does it mean for us to seek God? What expression might our seeking take, at a time such as this?

(Note: for a slightly more personal version of this blog post, flip over to here.)

5 ways to seek god

1. Seeking God means to LISTEN

When we are listening well, by implication we are talking less. To seek God is to be  willing to listen to the cries and complaints of others. It means I adopt a posture of leaning in to God's perspective, pressing into what his word has to say about the issues we face. And when it comes to the question of justice for the oppressed, there is no shortage of things God has to say.

2. Seeking God means to LONG FOR

In order to seek God, we are to be in touch with the longing within us. To what extent am I aware of a deep desire for God’s redemption to be worked out in our world and our communities, and in my own heart? To seek God means to allow ourselves to deeply feel this longing, not to be afraid of it but to lean in. This is a longing that will lead us to God.

3. Seeking God means to LAMENT

At times, our longing is so deep we cannot find words to express it. As we seek God, we bring our groaning, our supplication, and our sorrowing. We add our words and our wordless groans to those of the world around us and yes, even to that of creation (as we read about in Romans chapter 8). We seek God through lament.

4. Seeking God means to WATCH

To what extent will we pay attention? Are we willing to look for what God might be about in the current situation, to ‘keep our eyes peeled’ and our spirits alert? To seek God is to remain wakeful and watchful.

5. Seeking God means to WAIT

Finally, seeking God requires us to wait on God, who is the chief mover and shaker. In our waiting, we submit to his timing. We do not wait out of a lack of desire to act, but out of trust in his agency and absolute commitment to redemptive change.

what does seeking God looking like for you?

In this season of desolation, what does seeking God look like for you? Maybe you want to wail and weep, maybe you find yourself keeping silent vigil. Perhaps as you walk the streets of your neighbourhood, you find yourself seeking the ways God might be at work in the homes and businesses around you. It could be that your seeking finds expression in art, or song, or writing.

As we attune to that place within us that longs for God and his ways, we enter into a place of seeking. We find ourselves joining with the psalmist, who said: "O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Also in the psalms we are promised, "Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."

May God encounter us in our places of heartfelt seeking.