Sunday, May 19, 2013

Longing For More

The books or the music in which we thought ‘the beauty’ was located will betray us if we trust in them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing…For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited…Do what they will, then, we remain conscious of a desire which no natural happiness will satisfy.
 C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, Theology (1941) 3-4

The trunk was full. Coming back from the local seed and garden company, I had succumbed to buying more plants and seeds than I had planned for. The buckets, flats and packets held promise of turning into beautiful buds and pods.My mouth watered anticipating the flavorful dishes I would cook with pizazz from the little start of savory leaves I would attach to the soil prepared for planting. 

My garden plot will give them a home where they can flourish and grow. I can provide water and protection from herbivorous animals, but the Creator will awaken the life within each seed and cause it to mature into what He has designed it to be. I can feel the longing as I finger the dirt. It will be there when I see the new young shoots pop through the ground. And I will feel the awe when I harvest the handsome fruit and taste its freshness. This is what gives beauty now; what will it be like to see the Creator's hands and what he's prepared that no eye or ear has ever seen before?

How quickly satisfaction from natural happiness can slide into disappointment as we experience losses or others prove unfaithful! Without the eternal perspective we are left making the most of what we have left, and sinking further into doubt and cynicism.  A friend shared sadly, how 'the beauty' in an exciting new life's experience was being stretched and pulled into directions that felt threatening and destructive. It was a good reminder, he concluded, that no matter how satisfying is the thing that brings us natural happiness, happiness doesn't come from others, or our circumstances, but from within and knowing Who our identity is with. As believers, we have hope that can never be taken away and the promise of a perfect future where the longing will become reality and the happiness won't fade or spoil.

I listened to a sermon by Lysa TerKeurst this week that encourages believers to keep our thoughts on what our Creator says about us and not let our insecurities define us.  We are new creatures, heaven bound and Spirit enabled.
Listen to what she says.

I felt the longing this week listening to worship music; someday I'll be singing with angels. Nursing a cold in my unhealthy body and feeling the crown of a tooth pop off in my mouth; someday I'll have a new body never sick or decaying. Reading the good report from a missionary in another country; I'm wanting now to be about my Father's business and seeing his kingdom come on earth. 

While reading in Luke this week, I noticed the numerous times Jesus drew aside to pray, or prayed all night. If he needed that to stay connected to his father, how much more do we need to be with our father in prayer? We will long more, the more we taste of and draw near to the Lover of our souls.

What makes you aware of that longing? That nothing in this world is satisfying enough? That we were made for so much more? May we hear those whispers, feel his jealous longing for our love, and allow the disappointments and sorrows of this life to be reminders of our temporary stay, and where our final destination lies. 

Finally Home
By Don Wyrtzen

When engulfed by the terror of the tempestuous sea,
Unknown waves before you roll;
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul.

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
O how lonely death can be;
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light,
For death is swallowed up in victory!

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

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