For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity. Jeremiah 29:11-14
The verse above from Jeremiah be one of the most popular sections of Scripture within the whole Bible. For me personally, it was one of the first that I ever committed to memory. So often, there are times in my life when I just need to hear that the Lord is thinking about me and that He wants to give me “a future and a hope.” Many times, I have difficulty grasping the truth of that statement. The God of the universe, the Lord of heaven and earth, actually has time to think about me? Is that really possible? Not only is it possible but also there is so much more: He wants us to call upon Him, pray to Him, seek Him, find Him, search for Him. God Himself wants us to want Him.
One morning I got up early to pray and knew I needed to spend some time on my knees, literally. As I positioned myself on the floor, my dog soon discovered where I was and proceeded to demand my attention. He began nudging me, licking my face and pressing his body into a position where I could no longer deny his presence. He was insistent to the point that I continued in prayer while petting my dog. I must admit he is irresistible in his persistence and extremely affectionate. In those moments, I sensed the Lord impress upon my heart that He was doing the same thing to me. I knew in that moment that the Lord wanted me to give Him the same kind of attention. He wanted me to know that His love is unconditional, irresistible and affectionate. And He just wants to be loved back. He wants my prayers, but He also wants my never-ending desire to seek and search for Him, to never settle when I may not sense His presence. He is always with me, but sometimes I need to press into Him and not give up until I get His attention.
Just like my dog knew how to get my attention, knowing that I would respond with love and affection, the Lord knows how to get our attention and our response should be the same. But we need to learn how to respond to Him. We need to call upon Him, seek Him and press into Him. We need to give Him our love and affection. He just wants our hearts but He also wants us to sense His nudging. The next time your child or your pet demands your attention, especially in the areas of love and affection, just remember that the Lord is seeking the same kind of attention from you. And no one gives it back better than He does.
~Daily Disciples Devotional~