by Travis Deur
Nearly ten years ago, I heard the testimony of a man who had come to faith later in his life. He shared with me how surprised he was to find out so many Christians he talked to as a new believer were not reading their Bibles on a daily basis. I shrank deep into my chair. I was playing the part of a Christian. I was at church every week, going through the motions and outwardly doing the right things, but I honestly wasn’t doing much in the way of seeking God.
“Keep seeking!” seems to answer many of the faith questions I’m regularly asked or asking myself. Not sure about this whole God thing? Keep seeking! Bought in, but you don’t feel very close to him at the moment? Keep seeking! Stewing in uncertainty and doubt? Keep seeking!
The more consistently I read and the deeper I dug after that conversation, the more the dots connected. It was amazing how many times my daily devotions, the Sunday sermon, my Bible study group’s weekly lesson and the song that caught my attention on the radio were all saying the same thing to me. More seeking lead to more seeing. More time encountering God and discussing the Word in more places fed my faith in ways it never thrived in the decades before. I was participating in my faith journey instead of following along.
The road to and through faith has also been more meaningful as I surround myself with a larger and more diverse group of seekers. New life is breathed into the same conversation topics when you connect them to other people’s stories and the moments they’ve encountered God. You hear about their struggles, their questions, their lightbulb moments and see your personal reflections in a new light. You also begin to wonder if other people, who have not yet found God, feel the same way.
The testimonies of other believers coupled with examples from faith-based books have shaped my understanding of others whose faith journey follows a different map than mine. Someone in my youth group, my church or my neighborhood may not connect with my personal story, but can I connect them to God through someone else’s. And then there are the moments you hear about someone’s walk with the Lord and you realize, “That’s me!” and you find clarity for your own struggles and shortcomings.
I believe each of us has a story tailor-made for reaching certain people, and the more stories I collect the more opportunities I have to borrow from one experience to build up another. God starts to find you in all the places you’re living if you just keep seeking.