Google is the granddaddy of search buttons, but there are many others. My computer has a little bar in the lower-left corner that reads, “Search for anything.” The Bible software program that I use has a place to search a word in the scriptures or topics found in books explaining the Bible. Every piece of software or app has a search button to help us.
There is a couple of problem with this feature. First, it assumes you know what you are looking for. It is possible that the solution to our issues are not what we think. Second, the only answers it can give are those that are popular. It points you toward things that everyone else uses. Is it possible that the answer to your struggles is not popular or is seldom used?
This morning I spent some time searching the internet for the answers to substantial life issues. I looked at things like meaning in life, filling an empty soul, and overcoming our past. The search leads me to university studies, psychology web sites, life coaches, and YouTube videos produced by various gurus. There were almost no links to anything religious, although a Buddhist website popped up a few times.
Unfortunately, most people do not truly know what they need, and they are looking in all the wrong places. This leads us to a confusing world that is cynical about Jesus because nothing else has worked.
I often think that the world will not have much interest in following Jesus until they see how his followers’ lives are decisively different from the people around them. What the search button lacks is the hope that can be seen at moments of overwhelming loss. It cannot capture the joy of a burden finally removed from a soul and placed at the foot of the cross. It misses the love expressed when a person humbles themselves and helps someone without the expectation of repayment. The search button cannot capture what Jesus brings into the world through you. I think that is why Peter writes to believers and tells them always to have an answer when someone asks about how their life is different from the world. He knows that the best response to a searching heart and mind is a life well lived for Jesus.