“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” (I Chron 28:9 kjv — emphasis mine)
What an amazing promise! Each of us can say to himself or herself, as I did when I read it, “This was recorded just for me. God caused this promise, and countless more like it, to be recorded in Scripture so that I personally would be comforted and encouraged.”
Nothing is more precious than God’s promise that we will be able to find Him. He can hide Himself where none will ever find Him; “verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour” (Isa 45:15). He is the Deus absconditus, the God who conceals Himself from sinful man and only is known by sinful man as He wishes to be known. In order for this promise to be true, God has to reveal Himself to us. We cannot perceive Him or understand Him apart from His revelation of Himself. We can only dimly understand certain facets of God’s power and majesty; in a diffused sense we can perceive His glory and His love, as He causes the rain to fall from heaven and the earth to give crops, as He provides us with food and fills our hearts with joy. But even then, to all perfection there is a limit; we cannot fully understand all that He has done or who He truly is. For that, He must reveal Himself.
And He has! At His altar He gives us His own body with the bread, and He gives us His own blood with the wine. He is there only and because He promised to be there. Out of pure love for us He gives us this gift. What comfort and encouragement it gives! He is present when we hear and meditate on His Word. Christ Himself meets with us when we slow down, quiet our frantic minds, and simply turn toward His presence in His Word. Whether we can sense Him there or not, whether we feel His Spirit or not — He is truly there, because His words are spirit and they are life.
In no other place do our spirits find the rest and the peace that they crave. We rush here and rush there, too busy to attend to the needs of our own souls many times, although we still feel the lack of His presence in our lives. It gnaws at our spirits like hunger gnaws at the empty belly. So many times what we’re missing is…Him. Time spent with Christ, in His Word, at His house, receiving His love in the Sacrament of the Altar — that is how we find Him. No one can discover Him by his own power, but to those who trust in Him He reveals Himself. So if you feel the hunger in your soul — if you know your life is lacking in some way but you falter for words to describe just how — if you are worn-out and unable to go on, come to His Word, and He will be found of thee.