A Case for Discontent


"He has made everything beautiful in it's time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."  - Ecclesiastes 3:11

The footnote for this verse in my NIV Bible says the following-
"God's tantalizing world is too big for us, yet its satisfactions are too small.  Since we were made for eternity, the things of time cannot fully and permanently satisfy."

Pascal said, "We are never living, but hoping to live."

And George Eliot said, "It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are alive.  There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them."

In the last year one of the things I have been trying to is to pay attention to the movements of my heart (I am aware that sounds really feminine, but hang with me).  Seriously though, when something stirs me I've been trying to pay attention to it.  The beauty of creation and the things I've seen and experienced in the wild this year has moved me.  Certain movies have brought me to tears.  Situations have come up in my life and I have experienced all sorts of emotions like anger, frustration, dissapointment. And on the other end of the spectrum I've experienced laughter, joy, love and connecting with close friends on a deep level. 

But there has also been this underlying discontentment with my life and I have been really confused by it.  I mean I love my life, I'm not depressed for heavens sake.  But I'm well aware that I'm not fully content.  And I've been feeling a little guilty about it to be honest.  Really, haven't we been told that we should learn to be content?  We should just be happy and love everybody and be a light for all to see, right?

But what I'm learning is that life as usual is not the life I want.  It is not the life I need.  And get this, It is not the life I was made for!  God set eternity in our hearts.  That is, in our desire.  I don't need to apologize for wanting for, I was created for it!  Ecclesiastes tells us fairly plainly I think that contentment is not even possible.  We are all longing for something more.

And most of us have tried to fill the void with just about everything except what we truly long for.  A new job, a new car, a new girlfriend, a new wife, go to more parties, drink a little more, live a little higher lifestyle, take an exotic vacation, etc.

But, the deepest thirst, that holy longing that we feel down deep can only be quenched by walking with God into the desires that he has placed in our hearts.

Isn't that kind of amazing to think about.  What I long for, the life I desire, is the very life God intended for me.  His will and my longing are one in the same.

"If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would ask me for a drink and I would give you fresh living water" John 4:10 The Message

"The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life" John 4:18 The Message

We were not created for this world.  We were created for a perfect paradise.  We were created for deep soul communion with God.  We don't get to have it all right now.  And what we do get we have to fight pretty hard for.   I think a little holy discontent is appropriate if we let those longings drive our hearts closer to God and his purposes.



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