A few weeks ago, Mistie Osterhouse asked me to play with her and a few other musicians at the Gateway House of prayer on a Saturday night. It had been a while since I last picked up my trusty Fender Telecaster, so I needed to replace the strings. I knew I bought five sets of Ernie Ball light gauge strings a long time ago, but do you think I could find them? The search was on, but to no avail. I wound up driving to Creter Guitar Shop in Jonestown to buy a set.
At the age of 68 I find myself going on searches like that one more often than I used to. The other day someone asked me if I believed in the hereafter. I said absolutely! A couple of times a day I walk into a room and ask myself, “What am I here after?” All kidding aside, though, searching is a huge part of life’s journey.
This verse of Scripture found in Jeremiah 29:13 comes to mind: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Therein lies the most important search in a person’s life! If we don’t find God, we have missed the very reason for our existence. Compared to knowing the One who made us, everything else is just rubbish (Philippians 3:8).
Deep down, everyone has this longing. God’s image is stamped on our souls. He placed eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). That means we are incurably spiritual by nature. That’s why every human culture – no matter how primitive – has come up with some concept of a higher power, some vision of reality that goes beyond the natural.
On one level, this explains why science has not done away with religion. The latest version of the iPhone or the newest and fastest computer chip cannot meet the deepest needs of a person’s heart. It’s also why millions of people read their horoscopes every day and millions more call psychic hotlines.
I started to experience that very hunger in the early seventies. After experimenting with some things, thrills and theories, that hunger eventually led me to an encounter with Jesus Christ at a small church in Levittown, PA. It was May the 18th, 1975. I was a little less than five months shy of my 25th birthday. I now have two birthdays, and, to be honest with you, I celebrate the May 18th one with more vigor than the one marked on my birth certificate.
You see, we were born with a hunger for spiritual truth, and if we cannot find it by normal means, we will reach for anyone or anything claiming to give us an answer. Something inside of us drives us to seek ultimate meaning outside ourselves. God put that something inside us. Augustine gave us this oft-quoted prayer: “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Everyone is on a quest for the Savior, but only a few acknowledge that. We desperately want to find him.
This quest for God can’t wait. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can become. Searching for God is good; finding him is even better. Remember, your Creator said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Seek him. Join the search party.