Devotion: Finding What’s Missing

The Conversion of Saint Paul, a 1600 painting by the Italian artist Caravaggio.
The Conversion of Saint Paul, a 1600 painting by the Italian artist Caravaggio.

When God works within our lives, when He weaves His will through us, what He makes possible may perhaps lead us on a road we little expected and yet it is so much more than we ever could have even begun to imagine for ourselves.

Saul sat at the feet of the disciples there in Damascus and he listened, perhaps for the first time really listening, to what they had to say and teach him. (Acts 9:19) Though Ananias had laid his hands on him, calling him “Brother” despite the murder and the hate that had been in his heart for those like that man of God before that moment when the ground shook and the heavens parted with that booming voice of the Lord shattering everything he thought he knew, though the scales fell from his eyes, returning his sight to him, it wasn’t until he was overcome by the Gospel that he truly saw. Suddenly his world, and everything in it, everything he thought he knew, changed. He wasn’t the same man anymore.

You see, when something is missing from our lives, we try to fill the void that it leaves. Yet the truth is, we can’t ever fully escape the fact that we aren’t whole, we aren’t complete, we just are. It causes us so much pain, so much misery and hurt, as we look for the purpose, as we try to find that missing piece of ourselves not even entirely sure where to look. Yet God knows. Having formed us by His hand, weaving us together (Psalm 139:13) He has always known who we are and who we were intended to be. (Jeremiah 1:5) There is nothing in us that is lost or hidden to Him. Once we are willing to turn ourselves over to Him, once we are willing to let our complete, incomplete self rest in His hands He can begin the work of healing us, of opening our eyes to new truths, to opening our ears to answers He has always had for us but that we had been unable or unwilling to hear.

God is always there to help us find ourselves, to help us find who we were always meant to be in His love and His strength. He is always there to open us up to the reality that we are as He intended. It is within us. We just didn’t necessarily understand, at least not how we should have, to unleash the full potential of our lives through Him, in Him and by Him. Sometimes it just takes shaking our world a little bit so that we are finally open to what He wants to tell us, what He needs to show us so that finally we can do and be, so we can truly live the completion that He has intended for us when He first formed us.

As Saul began to understand, as God’s Word began to speak to him, suddenly he was overcome by the power of the Spirit. God opened a new world to him and he, amidst it, was a new man. The Gospel message was on lips, he preached it to the surprise of any and all who heard him. After all, wasn’t he the one who tried so desperately to put down this teaching of the Messiah, of the risen and living Christ? But then there was now so much more to him than murder and violence, than hatred and havoc. Love and hope had come to encompass his life and who he was, and day by day he grew stronger in the power of the Lord, in the righteousness of His Spirit. (Acts 9:20-22)

Like Saul, God is willing to open a new world and a new set of possibilities to you, He is willing to open the door to a new world and a new hope for Your life. He is willing to make you capable of great feats and overwhelming wonders. We just need to be willing to travel the road that He has paved for us, we need to be willing to leave everything we thought we knew behind us and look at the world with new and fresh eyes, with a sense of faith that He gives to us in the wonders of His grace. Yes, it can be hard for us to let go, it probably wasn’t the easiest thing in the world for Saul either, yet what we are capable of finding is so much more than what we may be worried we might lose, it’s a sense of beauty and purpose beyond our imaginations.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that suddenly everything’s going to be easy for us. One of the great myths that’s often times perpetuated is that living in faith is going to make things simpler, it’s going to be trouble-free and uncomplicated. That’s not what our Heavenly Father promises us in this life. Even Saul faced troubles and hardships with his conversions, the new target of those whom he once brought people like he now was to, the new target of those who now wanted to kill him. (Acts 9:23-25) This is okay though, because, with God’s help and, in His love, we are given strength and a capacity to bear by the burdens of this world beyond anything we have ever known. All things are made possible for us as He makes us more than conquerors through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:37)

God, after all, doesn’t open our eyes to the light, only to let our world all of the sudden go dark. With that power to do more, with that strength to be more, He gives us the ability to bear more even as He reminds us that we are never alone and that there is a divine and holy design for each of our lives. Once we open ourselves up to Him, once we open ourselves up to that truth, He doesn’t let us forget it as if he could somehow fail us or forsake us. It is there that His hand leads us to the safe resting places even as His hope gives us the peace that we so long for in our lives.

Listen then to the Word of the Lord, open your heart to Him in the grace of His mercy for you and be willing to follow were He leads. Whatever may be missing from your life, even if you don’t yet know it’s gone, is waiting to be found, and once it is it will open so many new doors to you. Just take it to God and be willing to hear what He has to say. Once you do that wondrous love will flow so freely through your life as God heals the wounded and broken places within you, making you the whole and complete person He has always intended for You to be.

Once we discover this truth, we discover ourselves.

Lord, grant this unto us all.

Now may the peace of the Lord that transcends all human understanding keep your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ even unto life everlasting, Amen.

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