Finding What Our Heart Most Longs ForBy Trillia Newbell | April 11th, 2013 | Category: Uncategorized | 5 comments
Running errands at the grocery store one morning, we walked past a display for Hotwheels cars. My youngest immediately asked, “Can I have a new car?” “No. You have tons of cars,” I answered. “I know. I need a new one though,” he said.
I can relate to my son’s response because my own heart is the same. I dream, plan, and seek after that one thing I think will make me satisfied. But whether it’s a new pair of shoes, new house, or new experience, once the newness wears off, I find that the happiness is no longer there. Discontentment settles in and I soon seek something else to replace it.
What is it about my heart that makes me so dissatisfied? Why do I always want something new and better? Could it be that the hole I am trying to fill in my heart is just too large?
In the Bible, the Israelites are known for their discontentment. Not too long after they had been freed from slavery they complained because they didn’t like the food God provided. (Exodus 16-17) They grumbled among one another and said they should have stayed in Egypt. Many times I have read their story and thought, “Why didn’t they get it? God rescued them; He was their Savior. How could they so quickly forget the plagues or their walk through the sea?” Yet knowing my own heart, had I been there, I would have complained right along with them.
This desire for what’s new and better is common to our human condition. Deep down, we know that things are not as they should be. We know that things are not supposed to break, whither, or die. In fact, when something breaks and we want to replace it with new, it’s because deep in our soul we know that the world was originally made to be perfect. When we seek after what’s beautiful, it’s because there is a longing for our eternal home that has been placed in our hearts. When we strive to have our deepest desires met, it’s because we long to return to the very Source of our heart’s desire.
C.S. Lewis once said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Too often, we try to find contentment in things that just cannot fill that God shaped-hole in our heart. We forget that we were made to find our joy and pleasure in God alone. As Augustine said “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.”
Each time we have a desire for something, we need to pause and recognize it for what it really is. Is what we want trying to fill a thirst that only God can satisfy? Then we need to stop drinking the stagnant water of the world that only leaves us thirsting for more and instead drink from the Living Water of Christ. Are we hungry for something from the world’s temporary buffet? We need to instead turn to Christ, because only the Bread of Life can fill us full and satisfy all our deepest longings.
When the Israelites grumbled and complained, Moses reminded them of what God had done to rescue them from slavery. In fact, over and over in the Old Testament they were instructed to remember what God had done for them. We also need to remember all that God has done for us. We need to remember the lengths He went to in our own delivery from slavery to sin. We need to remember who we are in Christ and because of Christ.
And when we remember, it draws us back to Christ and away from temporary pleasures. Because being in communion with Christ is what our hearts really long for. Living in His presence is what makes us whole and complete. And resting in the arms of our Savior is the only place we really want to be.
Christina Fox is a homeschooling mom, licensed mental health counselor, writer, and coffee drinker, not necessarily in that order. She lives in sunny S. Florida with her husband of sixteen years and their two boys. You can find her sharing her faith journey at www.toshowthemjesus.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToShowThemJesus.