“Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Heb. 11:6
The Psalms express the full range of human emotions: from deepest depression to highest exaltation and praise. It was the hymn book of Jewish worship, transposed to the Christian church after the first century. Music is the language of the soul; the Psalms give words to the music of the heart.
“Sing to the Lord, you saint of his; raise his holy name [for his anger lasts only a moment], weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.”
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God. For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
A conversation overhead between two young mothers: “When my child cried as a newborn, I knew it was one of three things: he was tired, hungry or uncomfortable. Now that he’s older, we’ve identified at least seventeen different things that make him cry. It’s becoming more and more difficult to satisfy his needs.”
Identifying the source of discontent is a life long process. We often don’t understand our own longings. Early on we identify temporary fixes: food, entertainment, friends, rest, a change of scenery. But after a while, the effectiveness and novelty wear off and we look for a new prescription for happiness.
Scripture indicates that our true thirst or longing is for God, himself, placed in us at creation, as a homing device for his Spirit. Synthetic substitutes may suffice, but they are superficial and short-lived. Ultimate satisfaction is only found in unity with God. “Those who come to him must believe that he is and he rewards those who seek him.”
God is like the final piece in a jigsaw puzzle. If it is missing, you either find it or pretend it doesn’t really matter. One piece is the difference between complete satisfaction and frustration.
Lord, we were created to be in a relationship with you. We confess that we look for substitutes for our longings until we are broken by the circumstances of life. Help us find words to express our needs and regrets so that we can experience true and lasting joy. Amen