Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This doesn't make sense

Today I stumbled across this article. I really like it. Here is an excerpt from the beginning:

Too often women settle for less—not realizing that our heavenly Father longs to give us true spiritual riches.

My heart sneaks up on me when I least expect it. Just this morning, after dropping off one of my sons at school, I was sitting at a red light, impatient for it to change, when suddenly I was overcome with sadness. A longing filled my heart, an ache, a desire for more.

My immediate response to this surfacing desire was to chastise myself. What is wrong with me? I thought. I have a good life. My family is healthy. My husband loves me.
I accused my heart of being difficult, needy, unreasonable. I tried to batter it into silence, to reason it into contentment. It didn't work. Frankly, it never does.
But then, the Holy Spirit nudged me. I felt the invitation of God to be merciful to myself and to come to Him with my aching desire for more. 

Wow, I can really relate to this! Sometimes for no apparent reason I just feel sad, needy, longing, and unsatisfied with life. And sometimes I attribute those feelings to specific reasons: if only I had a better life in some way - money, marriage, friends, success - then I would never feel this sad, empty, longing feeling again. 

That is not true. What is true, and what I have experienced to some extent (when I've allowed myself to), is that Jesus wonderfully, and overwhelmingly fulfills that sad emptiness. Not necessarily immediately (as Stasi points out in the article), but eventually. But immediately there is the hope of relief. That you will not drown in the sad feeling. That the emptiness is not permanent and that you're not abandoned. 

I think this is really important to note: I'm not talking about actual depression here. Depression is a medical/spiritual problems that most often requires a counselor and/or medication. What I'm talking about here is somewhat-momentary feelings of a deep sadness and ache in the heart in an otherwise content life. 

What is so telling about this deep ache of the heart is that it is not abated by the things we think will satisfy us. More money, happy relationships, success...and the ache returns. Why?!?!??? 

This makes absolutely no sense to me, but: Jesus. To be completely honest with you I often don't understand how my spiritual relationship with God through Christ can satisfy me more than having everything I ever wanted on this earth....but it can. If I will let it. 

I think this is part of the mystery of God. Jesus said man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. When you're hungry it doesn't make sense that Jesus is more satisfying than bread. When there is a deep ache in your heart and you're attributing it to some lack in your life, it doesn't make sense that Jesus will fulfill you more than the thing you think you're longing for. BUT He will. 

This is faith. This is what we must believe. This is what we must submit to. Anything else kills our souls. He is the only answer to the ache.

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