Lately I’ve been experiencing what you could call a “divine restlessness.” My homesickness for being with Jesus is something I’ve experienced almost all my life, but it is so much stronger now. I remember being a teenager and longing for Jesus to come back so that I could be in Heaven with him. Of course, I didn’t know what I was really longing for, as I didn’t know much about the one I called God. What I did know was the deep longing in my heart that wanted to be loved and fulfilled.
As I walked with him and saw more of his heart, I began to believe and accept his love for me. His love filled me in a way no other person could. I was no longer dependent on other peoples love in order to feel filled. I was able to accept his perfect love and the overflow poured out onto those around me. There is so much freedom in loving others without needing anything back. But that’s the freedom we find in Christ’s love. Of course there are still times I forget and look to other things or people to give me love, but they quickly fade or disappoint and I am reminded to return to my first love.
The fact that we have a stomach means there is a need for food to fill it. The fact that there is a desire in our hearts that can’t be filled means there must be a destiny to fulfill it. And our destiny is to know God. CS Lewis said it well:
“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.”
And the more I know of God, the more I love him. And the more we love someone, the more we want to be with them. There is something in us that demands eternity. We know deep down that life isn’t enough. Saying goodbye has always been hard for me. And I’ve come to learn that it’s because we were not made for it. We were not made for death. We were made for life! Happiness is wrapped up in knowing Jesus. We get little foretastes of what total fulfillment in Jesus tastes like. But someday we will see that he’s greater than we realized. We can start to be satisfied on this earth, but it will be fulfilled in eternity. And I personally can’t wait for that day. Maybe it sounds morbid to say that, but maybe it’s just because I know what real hope is. I want to be like Paul who said “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
I think this restlessness is a gift. It’s what I need to hold onto as I go out on outreach. This passion in my gut that says there is more to life than this world; the stirring that empowers me to be bold and courageous; the testimony that I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good; the knowledge that Jesus is real; the conviction to see the hopeless find hope; the faith that moves mountains; the peace that surpasses all understanding; and the love that transforms hearts and nations.
Don’t flee from restlessness, friends. It’s there for a reason. And you were created for it.