Longing, Rebellion, and Joy

Lent day 5 is today, for the introduction click here, Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, and the bonus one here.

There is a longing known to all humans. We try all sorts of things to fill it:

Sex, relationships, drugs, music, good deeds, work, art, success, kids, marriage, church, programs…

And each of these things satisfy the longing for a time. But the ache of wanting something more, something different, something better, some purpose; it comes back.

God created this aching for more, this desire for purpose, this need for something different to be satisfied in Him alone.

For he [the LORD] satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Psalm 107:9 ESV

Yet too often we decide what will satisfy the ache inside…a few mindless video games, an expensive shopping spree we can’t afford, a new job, a new house, a new spouse…

What we don’t realize is that in our soul we long for God’s rules. We long to bring Him glory and He longs to satisfy us as we draw near to Him. Who of us today could say with this Psalmist:

My soul is consumed with longing
    for your rules at all times. Psalm 119:20 ESV

Too often I look at God’s rules as a straight jacket intended to keep me joyless. Instead God’s rules show us how to love Him well, how to flourish as His creation, and how to recognize that we are in desperate need of help because we could never keep His law in our own power.

Why then do we rebel? We can’t fathom the riches of God’s fullness, we choose our rebellion, finding our joy in our way. C.S. Lewis said it best:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

So are you ready to join me in ditching our mud pies and seeking joy in God alone?

Father God we thank You that Your plan is to give us a life that fills our the longing in our souls. Forgive us for trying to find satisfaction in things other than You. Please show us where we are looking for joy outside of You. Help us to seek fulfillment in You alone. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.