Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Unexpected Rewards of Searching

"...Seek, and ye shall find..." (Matthew 7:7)

Is there such a thing as an unsuccessful search? I would argue there is not. Oh, you may not always find what you were looking for, but that doesn't mean your search was unprofitable. On the contrary, it may turn out to be better than you even hoped for. I agree with pastor and author, Frank W. Boreham (1871-1959), who wrote:

"A search is really a marvelous experience. The imagination flies with lightning rapidity from one world of things to another and another...John Ploughman (C.H. Spurgeon) used to say that even if the fowls got nothing out of it, it did them good to scratch...I never remember having set out to look for a thing, and afterwards regretted having done so."

In his essay "The Corner Cupboard," from which this quotation was taken, Boreham tells of a time when, as a young boy, he lost what seemed to him to be a truly wonderful "peg-top." Its chief attraction being that it actually spun, an attribute others he owned did not share. After ransacking the house with all the gusto of a determined boy, he finally dragged a chair over to a dusty old cupboard in a corner of the kitchen and reached into "the deepest and dustiest corner of the top shelf"; and, lo and behold! there he found...a cricket ball he had lost the previous summer! In that moment, he forgot all about the "peg-top" in light of excitement of finding his long-lost treasure. As he put it, "My delight over my new-found cricket ball entirely dispelled my grief over my missing peg-top."

On the same day that I read these words by Boreham as part of my morning devotions, my husband and I were privileged to spend time with dear friends we had not seen in many years. Actually, the wife, Gerri, we had never met, since she, as a widow, had married our widower friend, Mark, some years ago. What a lovely, blessed time we had together! In the course of our conversation, Gerri told me privately that when she was widowed after the death of her first husband (they were missionaries with the Wycliffe Bible Translators), she became lonely and could not see herself in the role of a perpetual widow. She simply wanted someone to be a companion and friend to her, with whom she could share her life. When God brought Mark into her life, she knew she had found such a friend and companion, one who loved the Lord and had served Him for many years. Then she told me, "I never dreamed that I would find anything more. I didn't know how perfect we would be for one another." I said to her, "You were looking for companionship, but you found love," and she smiled and answered, "Yes!"

C.S. Lewis says that when he began looking into the claims of Jesus Christ, he was only looking for the truth; but when he found it and accepted it (and Him) by faith, he was "surprised by joy" that he wasn't even looking for. God says, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jer.29:13). If one searches for the Lord with a sincere, diligent heart, you will find Him; but, oh, you will find so much more! Peace, joy, contentment, hope, security...and love. He is always so much more than you expected. At least, He has been for me. He is weaning me from the non-essentials of this life and wooing me to the essential of my relationship with Him. I may have come to Him for forgiveness of sin; but I found abundant, eternal life. I am like the bride in Song of Solomon, who looked for her shepherd and found a King!

For the child of God, His elect, there is no such thing as a fruitless search. "Seek, and ye shall find." Every time!

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