Why Do We Only Seek Out Jesus As a Last Resort?

Why do we only seek out Jesus as a last resort?  And, how much does it take to get God’s attention, anyway?  Someone I know well is going through a very difficult time right now—as we all do in life, from time to time.  As a result, she’s found herself turning to Jesus, but feels bad about it.  In her mind, she only seeks Him out as a last resort, not when things are good.  This generated these two great questions.  I’ll respond to the first in this week’s blog and the second next week.

So, why do we only seek God out as a last resort?  Why do we only turn to God when times are bad?  C.S. Lewis famously called suffering “God’s megaphone”.  It’s His loudest way to get our attention.  In this broken world of ours, where sin has alienated us from God, it’s easy to “forget” God.  We are inclined to stray; we have a propensity to turn away from Him.  In other words, when times are good, when everything is going just fine, it’s only natural that we tend to think we don’t need Him.  It’s only natural to think we are self-sufficient and independent and fine on our own.  It’s only natural for us not to give Him a second thought. 

Suffering crushes this illusion.  Suffering forces us to ask the “God” questions: Why are You letting this Happen?  Do you even care?  Are you even there?  Suffering shifts our focus to God.  Suffering makes us feel our need for God.

That’s why we tend to only seek Him as a last resort—it’s in our nature.  So, God knows, it’s perfectly understandable. 

Not that this is a good thing.  The only way we can have the deepest possible relationship with Him is if we are turning to Him all the time—in the good times and in the bad times.  But, because He understands our nature perfectly, He uses our suffering to get our attention and make us feel our need for Him.  Please note though: He never directs or sends or causes our suffering; He only allows it as a means to call us back to Himself.  

Some people might find all of this problematic.  Some might find it cruel for God to allow us to suffer in order to get our attention.  And it would be cruel—if something greater weren’t at stake.  Something infinitely greater—our eternal destiny!  Since straying from God can cause us to harden our hearts to Him completely, since it can cause us to obstinately not give Him a second thought and, thus, turn away from Him forever, it would be cruel of God not to try and get our attention in this way.

Two and a half years ago, I was in the best shape of my life.  My resting heart rate was 43, approaching Olympic athlete levels according to what I was told.  I was running faster than I ever have—my mile time was as low as ever.  The doctor gave me glowing reviews—all the numbers that matter (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) were perfect.  I have never been in better health.

Then, out of the blue, I developed a chronic cervical spine condition.  I’m still feeling the effects, though with cortisone injections to the spine (not fun!), a lot of physical therapy, and tons of traction, it’s gotten much better now.  But, for the bulk of the past two and a half years, it crushed me, physically and emotionally.  I couldn’t do all the physical things I took for granted before.  I couldn’t run or exercise the way I used to.  I couldn’t do simple physical tasks, like lifting heavy objects.  I couldn’t even sit in a chair for an extended period without experiencing excruciating pain.  At times, the pain was so bad it drove me to my knees.  Worst of all, I had significant muscle atrophy and loss of strength.  The emotional toll of all the losses I was incurring was even worse.  It was debilitating, devastating, and depressing. 

While I lamented my sudden loss of physical vitality, I heard God’s megaphone loud and clear.  I thought I was trusting Him already.  But being crushed this way made me realize I wasn’t trusting Him fully.  I wasn’t trusting Him with all of me.  Among other things, I was completely unaware how many ways I was putting my trust in my physical health and abilities, not God.

I don’t for a second believe God caused this suffering.  But I do know He used it to call me closer, to lead me deeper and deeper into the mystery of His love.  Now, I’ve experienced vistas of His grace, mercy, and love I didn’t think possible before.  It’s been one of the best things for my relationship with Him.  It’s been one of the best things that could have ever happened to my soul.

Suffering is God’s megaphone.  Even when we forget about Him, He never forgets about us.  He keeps calling us back to Himself until we are securely His.

With our eternal destiny at stake, allowing us to feel our need for Him is the most loving thing God could do!

So, why do you think we only seek out Jesus as a last resort?  I’d love to hear what you think!  Go to the “Contact E.J.” page of the Raising Jesus website and leave your comments there.  I pray that whatever difficult times you are going through or ever will go through, God will have your attention and draw you into a deeper walk with Him.

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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