Monday, February 25, 2019

The lesson in the medicine cabinet

For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLV  What does is mean to 'look with all your heart'? My daughter needed new medicine cabinets in her older home to replace those older metal ones that had become rusted and kind of beyond repair. She searched quite diligently until she found replacements that not only fit the specific size hole in the wall, but also the type that was made from metal material again. Seems the majority today that fit into the wall are plastic or MDF. The plastic was too flimsy. The MDF wouldn't take the beating of life with boys! So, she searched the shelves until she finally found the last two someone had in stock. She didn't stop looking. She didn't stop with the purchase. She didn't stop until they fully adorned her bathrooms in all of their new splendor!

Now, this may not be as significant as searching for God with all your heart, but you get the idea of searching so as to find. To seek without really believing one will find what one needs is kind of futile, is it not? The objective in seeking is to find. The objective of determined 'heart focus' is to find what brings joy and satisfaction to the heart in the long run. The object of our searching determines the outcome of our search. If we just want to 'fill the space' in our lives with whatever will 'fit', then that is exactly what we will find. My daughter didn't want to just 'fill the space' - she wanted high quality, good eye appeal, and a perfect fit. The world offers a whole lot of things that can function to 'fill the space' in our lives, capturing the attention of our heart and becoming the 'heart focus' we pursue. Not everything offered will fill the space in quite the same way God will, though! His is a perfect fit, with the highest quality, and an appeal like no other!

'Heart focus' is often the most deceptive thing for us - believing we have the 'right' focus, all the while just searching for something inferior to what God has really planned for us. We do well in considering our focus from time to time. The more we delight in having God expose any type of focus that will merely 'fill space' in our lives, the more we will find he helps us to not settle for those types of things any longer. My daughter bought the plastic ones first - they were the most reasonable and even resembled the old. The thing was that they weren't high quality - they didn't quite fill the space well enough and left gaps that made them just appear 'cheap'. The things that are the quick bargains that appear to fill the space may not really be all that good for us in the long run! She promptly boxed them up, called me for advice, and then off she went in pursuit of something different.

There are times when we are acting quite wisely to not 'settle' for whatever will 'fill the space'. We might need to take extra time and exert extra effort to find what will do more than just fill the space in our lives, but the search is what makes the difference. You see, we don't always know where we will find what it is we are seeking, but as long as we keep seeking with the right focus, we will find what we desire the most. When our desire is pure, the seeking will follow that same direction. The object we seek will be pure, as well! She went in pursuit of the MDF type, but in the back of her mind, she still knew the metal ones were her primary desire. She didn't believe them to be available any longer - for someone had mislead her into believing they were no longer carried at the builder's supply. Truth is, she still sought with a tenacity and she found what she desired - the last two that were tucked way back in a place others wouldn't think to explore.

The 'finding' is as important as the 'seeking'. When we seek with a tenacity, we find. When we seek with all our heart, we are investing ourselves in the search. This is all God desires of each of us - that we seek with an invested heart - so as to find what it is that will do more than just 'fill space' in our lives! Just sayin!

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