For years I thought I could finally relax, finally rest and feel satisfied once my world was in the order.
Once my house was cleaned . . .
Once the kids were in bed . . .
Once we could save a little money . . .
Once our careers really got of the ground . . .
Once I attained my ideals I thought the emptiness—the gnawing hollowness and discontentment would fade. I thought once I achieved “enough,” I’d be satisfied, but that day never arrived. Click To Tweet
I finally did get my house cleaned, and the kids in bed, and a little money saved. Our careers really began to fly, but I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something.
Meanwhile, I had dinner to cook and soccer practices to cart the kids to. We bought a house in the suburbs, the kind of neighborhood I never thought I’d live in, with a lake and manicured lawns. Time slipped by and I kept sensing the hollow feeling, that I was meant for more and made for more.
I totally misinterpreted this restlessness. I pushed myself to produce and do more. And boy did I have things to do with the diapers and dishes stacking up. And then, in what must have been an act of insanity, I volunteered my husband and I to take over the youth group at our church. In the flurry of activity and then a new baby, I kept coming up empty. I knew the answer was in Jesus. Of course I did.
But I was Eve staring at that piece of forbidden fruit, dissatisfied with the known. Always wanting more.
The Path to Lasting Satisfaction
That first sin crippled mankind’s ability to live loved by destroying mankind’s relationship with God. The world has never been the same.
I picture sin’s entrance into the world a bit like the movie The Wizard of Oz, only in reverse. When Dorothy reaches the way to Oz, the yellow brick road, her world transforms from black and white into a Technicolor dream. Sin, on the other hand, left humans in grainy black and white, the absence of God’s presence.
Sin’s devastation wreaked havoc on the union Adam and Eve shared with God. It ended their strolls their the garden. I can’t imagine the regret Adam lived with, the gaping absence of God’s nearness. The pain he must have suffered the remainder of his life. How do you live in harmony with all of nature, wielding the greenest thumb of all time, only to battle with the ground by the sweat of your brow?
To know Love himself, but then lose intimacy with him? To go from ultimate satisfaction, finding identity in God alone, but to have that ripped away only to face frustration and discontentment?
Imagine winning an all-inclusive vacation package, complete with decadent food, expensive drinks, and an opulent suite, only to be kicked out of the resort. A few days later, you sit hungry and alone, eating leftovers out of a restaurant’s trash can on the other side of the island. You remember the taste of the creme brulee, the bubbly feeling of champagne in your mouth.
When you’ve tasted perfection how do you return to bland food?
The ache for more that we all experience is the echo of eternity written on our hearts (Ecc. 3:11). Click To TweetPerfect Love continues to woo us—the dissatisfied and disappointed, the forbidden-fruit eaters, the fail-ers and the unfulfilled. We don’t pursue God without him first pursuing us. We love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). No one comes to the Father unless the Spirit first draws them (John 6:44). God invites us to seek fulfillment in him.
He longs to rescue us from eating out of the trash heap so we can be his guests at a never-ending feast.
Author’s note: The above is an excerpt from my work in progress, a book about chasing contentment in God.