Dear Staff, **
Here is a guest post from your colleague, Craig Hamlow, who with his wife, Karen,and 3 children host the Alaska Oasis. These are his thoughts from the devotional shared on our Staff Call recently. Life Impact Ministries
I recently read a book called “Furious Pursuit” by Tim King and Frank Martin. The inspiration for their book came when one of them shared their frustration and tiredness about always having to pursue God. They wished that God would pursue them once. That got them thinking, “Does God actually pursue me, or am I supposed to chase him with my good works of service and moral living and always take the initiative?“
Personally, I can understand why we would want God to pursue us for a change. We feel as though we are chasing this indescribable, undefinable God with every bit of goodness and service we can muster. But we’re not sure what outcome to expect. If I’m doing it all correctly, will God make things go better for me? We certainly hope so and many of our prayers seem to reflect that.
Our relationship with God is so focused on what we hope to receive: “God help this to go better in my life. . . Help me to get a new job. Help my investments to grow. Help me to feel better. Help my kids to act better. Help me lead this church well so the attendance grows and the church board likes my ideas. Help the church board not to fire me.” And on it goes.
But what happens when things go wrong or badly from our perspective? Have we not done the right things? Did we not pray enough? Or haven’t we prayed the right way? Did we mess up the formula somehow? Did we get the right formula? Or is there even a formula at all?
This growing frustration pushes me deeper in my thinking and relationship with God: “Father, how I’m living the Christian life is all so vague and I’m tired of chasing you, feeling like I’m chasing my tail. Why don’t you chase me for a while? How can I ever know if I have pleased you? That’s it! I’m so tired and frustrated and uncertain, I’m quitting this pursuit. It’s your turn to find me and let me know what you think of me instead of me trying to gain your pleasure all the time.”
Have you ever felt like that? I have myself. And I also know that many others in ministry are deeply tired, and they are also weary of chasing God in some way, shape, or form.
In another post I will take this thought to its conclusion, but I’m wondering if you experience this type of weariness of pursuing God as I sometimes do? — Craig Hamlow
** (These Thrive Mentor posts are written with our 30 Life Impact Staff in mind. If you are a missionary or pastor reading these somewhere in our connected world, please join us in the journey of growth! Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.)