by Pastor Mark Jordan
“The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21, NIV)
A few weeks ago, something happened that never happens to us…we misplaced a set of keys. Fortunately, it was a backup set, so it wasn’t critical. At first, we went to all the logical places, but no keys. Then we started looking in places they probably wouldn’t be, but we could make some sense as to how they got there. After the keys didn’t show up, we started looking in some ridiculous places where they likely never would be found, but we were getting desperate. We ended up finding the keys in our pool bag, which made total sense in hindsight (we didn’t want to take our master keys out of an abundance of caution).
Our experience brings a new understanding to the old saying that a lost items is always in the last place you look, but I want to dig a bit deeper here. It isn’t just about the places we looked inside, but what was happening inside us as we looked. At first, our search was deliberate, but eventually, it deepened in the degrees of desperation.
In today’s verse, we read about one of the occasions when Jesus was asked about the coming of the Kingdom of God. He said it isn’t something that can be observed with certain signs we know to look for. The word He used, from which “observed” is translated, refers to a doctor carefully watching a patient for symptoms to know how to treat him/her…a careful search, based on knowledge and experience. Later in this section from Luke 17, Jesus teaches about how the search can go from deliberate to desperate as time goes on, to the point where you try to make sense out of anything that happens (see verses 22-24).
When was the last time you went searching for something? Was your search pretty deliberate at first? Did it grow more desperate the longer it endured? This happens all the time. Looking for keys is one thing, but looking for hope is another. Jesus wants you to seek God first, and trust Him with with rest. This requires faith, and a commitment to endure with patience and love until everything is revealed.
I want to make one last point before signing off for today: Jesus didn’t come to look for lost things, but lost people. If you are lost today, let yourself be found. Jesus is searching for you, and wants to heal your heart. As the Great Physician, He is the only One who can!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being with me. Forgive me for the times I get desperate and fear you aren’t with me. I know you promised you are with me until the end of the age, so I pray for your help so I can endure until you return. I ask this I Christ’s name. Amen.