In 2006, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a memoir entitled Eat, Pray, Love, a biographical drama, that became a box office hit in 2010. It focused on the journey of a disillusioned divorcee who went in search of the importance or meaning of life. It was a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts and during her travels she learns that practicing gratitude can be a healthy antidote to regret. She encounters individuals who offer wise counsel because they have already gone through dark valleys. Throughout this “pilgrimage” she supposedly learns how to let go of her worry, guilt and inability to forgive herself. The book ends with her falling in love again. Seems simple enough — but life is not a movie and movies aren’t real life. While there could be some parallels to that story and our life as believers, this quote from the story shows how far off the main theme is for Jesus followers, “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist on it and sometimes even travel around the world for it.”
Just the opposite should be true of believers. God searches for us! We are his children, and he longs for us to know him intimately. He reveals himself to us through scripture, prayer and fellowship with other believers. We are his “prey.” His precious sheep. He knew us before we were born, (Jeremiah 1:5) he loves us fiercely and pursues us relentlessly. When you have that abiding sense of God’s fierce love — a love that will carry you through every circumstance, challenge, and battle you face — the Holy Spirit provides abundant joy and peace beyond human understanding. Galatians 5:22-23 Perhaps a loss, divorce, illness, unforgiveness, burnout, or something else has resulted in the feeling that you’ve lost the joy and peace you once had. Maybe unwise choices have left you feeling broken beyond repair, and not able to feel his unconditional love. God is still in pursuit. He is the Holy Chaser. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. (Deut. 31:6) Even when we are faithless, He is faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13
I know that he has and will relentlessly pursue me all the days of my life to complete the good work he began because he promised he would. This is true of all of us and means that if we pause, pray, (honestly share with him) and then listen, we’ll hear the divine whisper — the loving voice that accepts us as we are, yet never lets us stay as we are.
By Deb Hill
Executive Administrative Assistant