Seeking God? Time to Discover the Great “I Am”
Whom Do You Seek?
Whether you are looking for a Comforter, a Teacher, a Healer, a Rock… The Lord says: I AM.
My favorite woman in the Bible is Mary Magdalene. I think it’s because she’s just as crazy, emotional, and clueless as I am. Yet, she was the first one to see the risen Lord. I invite you to join me in remembering the Lord’s first recorded act of the New Covenant—comforting a woman was who was every bit the hot mess that I am.
But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
John 20:11-16 NKJV
When I was a kid, I always wanted to jump up and down and yell, “Silly lady, He’s right in front of you!” When I was a teenager, I rolled my eyes thinking, “Just quit your blubbering long enough to look up and see He’s right there. He even told you this would happen.” As a grown woman, I now realize that Mary Magdalene is a woman after my own heart.
First, she cried to anyone around her who would listen. Next, she’s too absorbed in her own drama to recognize that’s He’s literally right there. Finally, she sank to the level of accusing the first person she saw of causing her anguish.
Wait—we’re still talking about Mary Magdalene, right…?
Please tell me I’m not the only one feeling the sting of conviction right now.
Then comes the beauty of it all. He called her name. So gentle. So personal. So like our Lord.
Getting to Know I AM
I’ll tell you another story that always seemed a little out of whack to me…
At the burning bush, Moses asked God how he should respond when Pharaoh asked Who sent him, and God instructed Moses to answer “I AM” sent him. Quite honestly, this response confused me to the point of indignation. Really, God? I AM? You are GOD, and that’s all you got? Are you trying to get Moses killed?
A few years ago, I listened to a sermon that explained God’s seemingly cryptic response. What you do tells me who you are. I care for my daughter, so I am a mother. I keep my vows to my husband, so I am a wife. I show up to work, so I am an employee.
God has told us who He is. He is our Creator because He made us. He is our Provider because He takes care of us. He is our Rock because His love never wavers.
Not only did this understand bring clarity to the Bible story, but it also inspired me to study the names of God to learn just who He really is. I eventually realized that I AM is the perfect name for God. Throughout the rest of the Bible, God tells us who He is: Creator, Comforter, Redeemer, Provider, Teacher, Healer, Almighty God, Beginning and End, Alpha and Omega, Refuge, Preserver, Rock, Bread of Life…
I learned that no matter who, or what I need, God has said stepped up and declared “I AM your ____”. Fill in the blank as you please; He is everything you ever need for every day of your life.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”EVpwf” via=”yes” ]Who is God for you? Who do you need Him to be today?[/ctt]
Whom Do You Seek Today?
What do the Names of God have to do with poor, confused Mary Magdalene? She didn’t know who God was, either, because she was too busy crying at the empty tomb to look up and see the risen Lord.
Are you too bitter to look up and see your Deliverer? I was.
Have you been too fearful to look up and draw from your Strength? I certainly have.
Were you too busy browsing WebMD to consult your Healer? I did.
Are you too impatient to wait for the Author and Finisher? I totally am.
Mary was the first to search for Jesus and to find the resurrected Lord patiently, lovingly waiting on her to recognize Him for who He really is. Mary shows us that we must turn our attention from our troubles, look up, and call on Him.
“Victoria, why are you struggling? Whom are you seeking?”
“Victoria, why are you angry? Whom are you seeking?”
“Victoria, why are you afraid? Whom are you seeking?”
“Victoria, why are you judging others? Whom are you seeking?”
“Judge of all!”
I encourage you to open your Bible and see who God is for yourself. I started by getting a list of the names of God online and then reading the associated Scripture. Also, I made a bookmark for myself and printed a word cloud of the Names of God to hang at my desk. It served as a reminder of Who to seek every day and saved me from a few potential… we’ll call them “lapses in judgment”.
What About You?
How are you seeking God? And how is He showing up as the great “I AM” in your life? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
[ctt template=”2″ link=”dv_D3″ via=”yes” ]Whatever you are searching for can be found in the great “I AM”[/ctt]
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Without God man is nothing
I love Mary Magdalene! I’m actually in the process of writing my proposal for a book I wrote about her! I definitely connect with her emotional frustrations, and I’ve learned how my emotions can blind me from seeing God. Love this article!
Hi Emily, One of my all-time favorite books was written about Mary Magdalene. I agree that her weaknesses certainly help a lot of people relate to her, so a lot of people find hope in her story. If Jesus had such fondness for a woman who’d been possessed by seven demons, I think that gives us all hope that we are loveable, too. I really hope you will contact me when your book is published! Thanks so much for your comment!
I love how you make these stories an people come to life. We too often think that people in the Bible were different from us but they had all the same failings we do!
Thank you, Alice. I appreciate it. I absolutely love Biblical fiction for the same reason. I take it for what it is- fiction- but it makes the characters of the Bible come to life. The more I imagine their world, the more I realize they are all just like us. It helps me see the incredible relevance of the Bible today.
What a great and encouraging post! I love your explanation of “I Am.” This is so comforting! I am a lot like Mary too!
Hi Julie. I’m glad you were comforted by the reminder of the names of God. I find that no matter what I need that day, God has a name to assure me that He can meet my need. It’s really so simple if only we can remember to always go to Him first.
I love the names of God! They all say so much. And I love that there are no other Gods! There can be no confusion, and no competition. It is so comforting to know! Thanks for this compelling post.
Thank you, April. He is certainly our All in One.
Whom are you seeking is such an important piece. I believe many don’t even realize their own bitterness and/or struggles prevent them from seeking after Christ.
Thank you, Heather. I think many of us are here on this site because we need regular reminders that we can’t let our struggles prevent us from seeking after Christ. I shudder to think of the years I wasted floundering in my own strength.
Such a great reminder! And I love how you broke down the responses and reactions of Mary – yep, I felt convicted, too!
Thank you, Melissa! I know I was a bit naughty on that piece, but I hope that a little grain of conviction now will be the reminder someone may need to go to Christ first when a problem arises. Plus I have to hold myself accountable, too. Writers better practice what they preach, right…?
I’ve been learning the names of God and pouring over how he interacted with those in the Bible. My heart gets filled with more hope every time I realize that person is human just like me and God is unchanging!
That’s wonderful, Kristi! May God bless your studies and use your efforts and desire to bring you closer to Him!
Valerie, I love how we can do a ‘fill-in-the-blank’ about God’s character. Because that is who He is. There aren’t any limitations. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.
Hi Aimee, I’m so glad that this reminded you that God has no limitations. He really is everything we ever need.