Friday, May 1, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Seek

Seek His Face, Not His Hand

A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
– Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)

You may have heard or know the popular scripture “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV). It’s a promise from God to the exiled people of Judah. This verse is often quoted to high school graduates about their future. Yet, we too should remember that God has a plan for each of us in every season. There is a promise wrapped what God is doing right now – only it might not be what you think or expect.

In the early hours of Good Friday last month, a great mentor of mine, Pastor Kent Jarvis of Akron, Ohio, passed away. He was 58 and died of brain cancer. He was an extraordinary minister who irrevocably changed my view of God and His plan for my life.

This is an excerpt from a piece I wrote about him in 2001 (edited for time):

“My fondest memories of Kent are during choir practice. [However], I used to be intimidated by what I perceived to be his higher level of thinking. Kent seemed so serious and carefully orchestrated in his actions. He was always living “in the present” and I lived “looking toward the future.” On one my weekends home from college, shortly after the end of Sunday service, I was surprised when Kent suddenly walked up to me. We had rarely had face-to-face conversations.

“How are things going for you, Mirachelle?” He asked in his gentle, soothing voice. 

“Oh,” I stammered, “Things are okay. College is good. I am wondering about the future. I don’t know what I am going to do yet, but I am waiting on God to guide and direct me. I want to know His will for my life.”

Kent continued to smile. “Oh, well, that’s good.” Then he surprised me again. “Did you ever consider that maybe God doesn’t want you to worry about your future? Seeking God’s will isn’t what it’s all about. He wants all of us to concentrate on getting to know Him right now, in the present. It’s about getting personal in your relationship with Him. You’ve got to seek Him first, not His will. It’s in seeking Him that God reveals His will for our lives...Seek His face, not His hand.”

Dumfounded, I said something like, “Wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way before.”

Kent went further, “God wants to know you, and for you to know who He is in you. He doesn’t worry about where you will go. As we seek Him, eventually He leads us [there].” 

Later that night, I went to the Lord in prayer and had a vision. I was riding in a car with Jesus, who was driving. He was calmly navigating the road as I noticed everything rushing by, paying attention to everything else but Him. Realizing this, I suddenly stopped and faced him. He slowed the car and pulled off onto the shoulder. 

Having my full attention, He began to speak. We talked together like best friends. I was being filled up with wonder and abundant joy in this moment of oneness, face-to-face time with Him. I felt alive and connecting with The One who knew everything about me, and because He loved me so much, all He wanted to do was to be with me. It didn’t matter where we were or what we were doing. It was just the two of us, and that’s all that mattered.

The true meaning of Kent’s words unraveled my life. They awoke a glorious revelation in my heart that I didn’t need to know what God was doing in my life because most precious to Him was time with me. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV). I am forever grateful He used Kent, someone I so admired, to show me. What a joy it is now to know that Kent is spending eternity at the feet of Jesus, and I know there is no other place he’d rather be.

Have you spent time with God lately, just you and Him? With no agenda or expectations. No plan or petition. Just face-to-face time with Him. Take time today to let Him pull the car over to the side of life’s road and just talk. Seek His face, and you’ll find all you need.

Author Bio:

Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater. 

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program.

Mirachelle is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII.

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