Shouting to be found

As a young child I always enjoyed a game of hide and seek but it was always difficult if the friend looking for you got distracted and went off and did other things, for those friends the game had to make a little easier with the odd noise for a clue thrown in.

I’m 52 years old and still playing hide and seek with my Autistic son Jadon. He’s 14 years old but loves running around the house looking for me but yes! He is one of those that needs the odd shout to get him back into the game and encourage him to come looking.

In the book of Deuteronomy the people of Israel are told in 4:29  “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

Right from the very start of time God has looked for people who will search for Him. Sadly, our first parents Adam and Eve ended up hiding from God and so ashamed they didn’t want to be found.

But He is also the God that will do so much more than you’d expect in order for you to be successful in the search and find Him.

In 2 Chronicles 15:2 its says “And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him”

You see when most people play hide and seek they hide so as not to be found but just as I always want my autistic son to find me so too God is always longing to be found.

Today, just like yesterday and the days that are coming next, God is searching for searchers! This isn’t a simple game of hide and seek but we can learn some lessons from the simple game. If your search for something, then you want to find it and when you do you’ll rejoice over your success. If you’re not searching your likely to reject what you stumble across or what is offered to you as it simply doesn’t fit in with your plans.

God wants to be found by those that seek Him, “you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul”

He is the God who will make a noise in your life when you drift away from the searching. He is the God who orders events and circumstances so that you will enter into the search and He is so keen to be found that He will do all that can be done to keep you seeking.

There had been many times in my life when I’d started the search and then drifted off onto some other worthwhile task, career, relationship etc. Yet God would so often make a “big noise” in my life to call me back to the search.

One such moment was the visit of Mrs Gladys Blackburne to HMP The Maze in Northern Ireland during the troubles of the 80’s. 

Mrs Blackburne was a small woman and at that time elderly. She had been travelling around the military camps of Northern Ireland sharing the Good News of Jesus with service men and women for many years. She was also well known in the prisons, reaching out to the imprisoned terrorist with the love of Jesus. The video below gives testimony to her unstoppable commitment to bring the love of Jesus to the terrorist. 

Whilst serving at the Maze prison I had been reading a book by Ben Forde “Love in Bomb City”. This book written by a Christian and member of the RUC was very strange to me but something within the book brought me back into the search, but as always other things became a distraction and the book was passed on to another soldier.

Mrs Blackburne with the commanding voice of her God called up to me in the tower at the front gate of the Maze. “are you the soldier with Ben Forde’s book” or something to that effect. I responded, confessing that it was my book that she’d stumbled across in the hands of another. She asked me which hut I was staying in and I told her the location.

 

Later that day into the accommodation, which had wall to wall pornography on its walls, walked this little woman, but she was far from small in spirit. She sat on my bed whilst other members of my unit gathered around, and she proceeded to tell me of her struggles against the IRA, who had snapped her fingers back in punishment and sought to take her life. Her great crime was to love the serviceman like me and her desire to introduce us to her greatest friend and protector, Jesus Christ.

(left) I’m pictured standing at the front gate of HMP The Maze

Read more about Gladys Blackburne

I listened as she told me how much Jesus loved me and that He could change me. I needed change so badly. You see at this moment in my life I had stopped the search, but God was using this woman to call me back, He was making a loud noise in my life because He wanted to be found.

2Chronicles 15:4  “But in their distress they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.”

Several years later having stopped the search God made more noise in my life, this time I kept seeking and found. Having recently left the forces and alone in a flat in Birmingham I listened to a song by Philip Bailey former Earth Wind and Fire member and the artist who sang “Easy Lover” with Phil Collins.

The song he sang was “I want to know you” and spoke of his desire to know God. I sang along knowing that He was real, and He was there to be found. That night I found Him and now I hope that I can be His noise for others who may have stopped the search.

Keep seeking and you will find for His is longing for you to find Him and He will keep visiting you in life to shout and call you home.

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