In Your time, Lord, You have brought me to this page. Whether there is a year between posts, a couple days, or a couple weeks; You are the One Who enables me to write. Let this post be for Your glory. Use these hands, this brain, and the soul You have given me. Jesus, it is in Your name I pray. Amen.
The current state of my life feels dangerous.
I am content and at peace with where God has me. Everything I need is provided for. I have no real stresses in life that would weigh me down. I am comfortable.
But comfort is the thing I fear.
Just like riches, comfort brings a feeling of independence; a self-reliance that would deny the need for a radical Savior to rescue me, hold me, and use me in His Kingdom work. The contentment and peace I feel may be hiding the need for radical change. So, the fear of being comfortable, content, and at peace, when I should not be, has planted seeds of discontentment and restlessness in my heart.
I know, it is strange how one seemingly good feeling can cause the complete opposite feeling.
Welcome to a day in my life.
Needless to say, I have experienced quite a few emotional ups and downs in my life, and I have mostly internalized them, like a good, strong woman, should… I don’t actually think it is a strength to hide the truth and not be vulnerable; fear can do that, while leaving a person sobbing in the corner of a dark room. I, for one, do not want to be left sobbing in the corner of a dark room. No, I choose to turn the light on, sit on my desk chair, and sing my prayers out to Jesus, because He is my strength, my firm foundation, and my rescue from tangled emotions.
I often sing my prayers to God, and in almost every song/prayer, I ask for God’s will to be done in my life, and for Him to make me holy. One song that sprung from these worship times repeated a verse in Ecclesiastes 3 over and over again: God makes everything beautiful in His time (11a). I draw so much comfort and strength from that verse; all I have to do is wait patiently on God’s timing, because, one day, the work He started in me will be complete, and I will be His beautiful masterpiece. But in the song/prayer, I leave out the second half of the verse: Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Let me just say; that sounds a bit cruel. So, God has placed a hunger in our hearts for the eternal, but He has not provided a way to satisfy that hunger?
Jesus said unto them, “I AM the bread of life, he who comes to Me shall never hunger. He who believes on Me shall never thirst… I AM the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:35, 51)
Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, was fed up with the world, and the seemingly purposeless existence of mankind. He would have heard of the promised Messiah to come, but the full reality of Jesus – the Son of God, coming to earth as a man, suffering for the sins of His Creation, dying, and rising again – was only a foggy picture in the minds of the writers and believers of Old Testament times. They believed in the promise, and they wrote what God wanted them to write, but they could not fully understand the promise, nor fully understand what they were writing or reading. There was a veil that separated them from God, and from their understanding of His ways; which veil is done away in Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:14b)
Throughout Ecclesiastes, there seems to be an underlying angst. Solomon was tired of questions without answers, of labor without foreseeable or justifiable reward. The promise of God was not yet fulfilled, and the faith of the Old Testament was incomplete. The wise men of the age sought after an answer that was outside the reach of their time. But the faith of the New Testament was made whole when the Creator of all mankind wrote the answer to life with His blood. The answer to all eternity was, and is, Christ crucified and raised to life.
Surely, God does make everything beautiful in His time, and He has put eternity into man’s heart, and Jesus has torn the veil that separated God from man.
The promises God made did not go unfulfilled, and they will not go unfulfilled.
The lives He has called and the Word He has sent out will not return to Him empty and void.
I live in the days of Jesus Christ, not the days of Solomon. I live in a world where Jesus walked, where He died, and where He washes away the sins of all who call upon His name. Eternity lies in the hearts of all mankind, because the answer rose from the dead. There is hope today; a greater hope than that of Solomon.
Does that suddenly mean that everything is clear; that my youthful angst has been cured; that I suddenly know what God wants me to do with my life and how I am supposed to get to where He wants me to go? No. Just like Solomon, I have to wait. Just like the disciples, I am asked to watch and pray. Perfection, the final return of Christ, has not happened yet, so until that day, I must strive to live for Christ, to live with hope, and to live by the might and strength of His Holy Spirit.
The aim of my charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)
Perhaps I went off the topic of discontentment and restlessness since the beginning of this post, but God never intended the topic of this post (or my life) to be those things. My focus is not supposed to be on my youthful angst or Solomon’s, or my restless heart, but the steadfast love of my Savior that has placed eternity in my heart and secured for me a place in Heaven. God led me off the topic of discontentment and onto the topic of eternity right here and now. And if the price for perfection is waiting, while steadfastly obeying – even if years go by without any answers – it is a small price to pay, and the least I could give.
Step into a parable with me for a moment. If a man died right in front of you, because he willingly took a bullet to save your life, when you had murdered his friends, as well as his sons and daughters; how would that make you feel? How would you respond?
Since I can’t say how you would feel, I will speak for myself. As for me, I would be humbled. I would call what just happened, impossible and nonsensical, yet I would be unable to deny it, since the man who died for me would still be bleeding out in front of me. And I would respond with gratitude. I would drop my weapons and weep for the friend I didn’t realize I had until it was too late.
That is the reality of Christ’s sacrifice for me and for all mankind… Impossible, nonsensical, humbling, yet undeniably loving, life-saving, and life changing. There is no way that my life could be the same after an encounter with Jesus, after the realization of what He did, and what He continues to do for those who call upon His name. That is the eternity He has placed in my heart, yet I still stumble, fall, lose faith, and act and think like Solomon, when I have no excuse to.
I want Jesus to be enough for me. I want His Word and His Holy Spirit to be my contentment and peace, as well as my motivation and passion. I still have no idea what God wants me to do in His Church or how He wants me to contribute to His Kingdom work. It seems like I have fallen behind in the tasks He has given me to do, because I couldn’t hear Him when He called, or I missed opportunities, because I was too blind to see. However, God does not work like that. He is not confined by my weak tendencies, but actually transforms those tendencies in His time.
I am hungry for something more than what this world provides, and Christ IS sufficient for me. He DOES answer the question of eternity; I just need to practice patience. One of my many weaknesses is impatience, but God has the strength of patience; He is not in a hurry.
Time passes swiftly, and milestones, too, but the distance covered never seems to justify the time spent.
That statement once plagued my existence, but I choose not to let it plague my existence anymore. I know my Abba’s timing is perfect, and nothing I can do will mess that up or change His mind. I may want things to play out at different times and in different ways, but I am not God. I am not in control and I have no idea where I’m going, but His grace is sufficient for me.
The answer is to wait, but eternity is in my heart already, so I wait with hope in my heart and praise on my lips. Amen.
When you look up, what do you see?
I see, walking on the water, my friend and King.
He tells me life is fleeting.
What is past is long gone,
But what is coming is the rising Son.
Sleeping is hardly even an option,
Though God gives rest to the weary
And hope to those who have none.
My aim is love out of a pure heart,
And a clear conscience, with sincere faith;
To pray without ceasing, knowing time fades.
Ages will pass, Summers, turn to snow;
But Spring rises in this heart of stone
With Christ as my light, guide, and hope.
God has placed eternity in all hearts,
But will they seek and find Him, or give up?
Abba, You wait with open arms,
But so many choose sin over love.
I made my choice long ago,
To take up my cross and follow.
Temptations are many; perseverance, shunned.
The mockers line the streets and tell me to give up.
But all I know is You chose to die for us:
The self-righteous, unclean, and unworthy dust.
So, I will lift my eyes to the hill
Where my help comes from.
The Place of the Skull could not keep Him.
Even the grave had to give Him up.
Oh, death, where is your victory?
Oh, grave, where is your sting?
My God defeated you and reigns as King.
And He has given me the same victory.
He looks down from His thrown on high
At my face looking up through the window in the sky.
He keeps His own from the hand of the evil one.
He draws the lost from the chains that held them.
Oh, Yeshua, You are so faithful, so kind.
Continue to intercede for me and mine.
Give us courage and keep us awake;
The wait may not now be long before daybreak.
The road winds on, but soon will end.
Bring Your children safely to Heaven.