"...so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being..."
Paul was speaking in the midst of the Areopagus (Mars Hill) of Athens when he made this statement. Athens was the religious center of this ancient world. Because of this, statues of gods were everywhere. He even found an altar which said: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. (Like that really mattered - I think they were simply covering all their bases!)
Why is this information important?
Because Paul is introducing the concept of faith to these people, these people to whom he said, "I perceive that in all things you are very religious. (verse 22)" He goes on to explain (verses 24-26) that God made all things and does not dwell in temples made with hands.
And then Paul tells them what I want us to focus on: He says God created them "so that they should seek the Lord, in the HOPE that they might GROPE for Him and find Him..."
I love the image these words invoke. Can you picture it?
Have you ever entered a darkened room and GROPED for the source of light enveloped by the darkness? Of course, you have. Your groping was an intentional act - it had to be! You recognized your state of darkness and your need for light. You also realized that you had knowledge of a light source, but you had to seek after it, groping, reaching, pursuing it until it was found.
This is a beautiful reflection of our faith-relationship with the Lord.
God wants our relationship with Him to be voluntary, desired, sought after and based on love. Our faith in Him comes when we experience His remarkable love.
We do not SEE the wind, but we experience its effects.
We do not SEE the air, but we experience its life.
We do not SEE our Heavenly Father, but we experience the power of His love.
And we believe.
We believe because we reached out our hand in the darkness, groping, and felt the assurance of His fingertips grasping ours.
We believe because suddenly His Light shines bright in our darkness.
We believe because now we understand that in Him - in His love - we live and move and have our being.
Yes, indeed. We believe.
Lord, I BELIEVE!! I know You are the One True God, maker of heaven and earth. I know Your redemption power, Your restorative mercy and goodness. You are the air that I breath, the water I thirst for. I love You, Lord and I desire to know You more. Bless Your Holy Name!