Nothing Satisfies My Soul

For days, or really for years, I have been looking in all of the wrong places for something to satisfy my soul.

People. Social media. Acceptance. Hulu. Books. Talent.

Sin.

I just want that instant satisfaction.

Sin.

There are practices that the church is quick to condemn as sinful. But there are also practices we fail to recognize as sinful.

John Piper, in a Desiring God blog post, touches on how social media and electronics can be unhealthy, particularly if we begin our day with them. (To read his post titled “Six Wrong Reasons to Check Your Phone in the Morning,” click here.)

I wrestle with what to do first in the morning: have my quiet time or check Facebook? Have my quiet time or get ready for the day? And at some point the question becomes: check Facebook or get ready?

At some point, I remove time with the Lord from the equation. Anything can remove Jesus from the equation on a given morning – desire for more sleep, hunger, homework, procrastination, friends. Those aren’t bad things. (Okay, procrastination usually isn’t a good thing.) Nothing satisfies my soul. These things don’t address the longing in my heart for something deep and precious. It takes a lot of self-discipline and self-control to tear myself away from the world that I can see and touch and hear to spend time in the Word of God.

But my strength isn’t enough. It takes the grace of God to enable me to do what I need to do. Am I listening to Him?

If I never stop long enough to read His Work, to pray, to talk about the grace of God with other people, I cannot hear Him. My flesh and the Spirit of God do battle on a daily basis. How will I begin my day? How do I go about my day? How do I end it? I so often waste my time with what has no eternal value, and it frustrates me!

I love Piper’s quote that appears at the end of his article. He says this:

“I feel like I have to get saved every morning. I wake  up and the devil is sitting on my face.”

Every day is a battle. Each morning, what will I choose? I don’t always get it right. So often I put off my quiet time for the sake of homework or sleep or physical appearance (aka: not looking like a bum). But those things do not set my heart in the right place.; they don’t foster an eternal perspective. May the decisions I make bring honor to my Father in heaven. May the mystery and the power of the Word of God capture my heart. May the Gospel of Christ never lose its novelty in light of my sin. May the Holy Spirit use each morning to make me more like the Son who has risen once and for all for my sake. May I be satisfied in the holiness of the Lord who has poured out His life for me.

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Mountain Musings

There is something so incredibly chill-invoking about the mountains. I remember one year, driving through a valley in Tennessee with my family, looking up at the dark hills and seeing the lights of cabins on the sides of the mountain. It was beautiful – a little love note from the Lord. My favorite part of the mountains is looking up and seeing thousands of stars, bright and beautiful.The stars have always been my favorite part of nature.

Early in high school, I would lay out on the trampoline with my younger siblings and look at the stars. In Columbia, we couldn’t see very much, but it was a time of bonding and realizing how small we were compared to the dark expanse of sky. There was just something about looking up into the navy blue of the heavens and searching for familiar dots of light.

Finishing up my fall break in the mountains of North Carolina, I am blown away by the stars that I can see here. There are so many. The sky is so clear here that you can see the Milky Way. Wow. I am blown away by the beauty. There is something about the sky being so big that gives me a different perspective.

“[The Lord] heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.”
Psalm 147:3-5

God, who named each and every one of those billions of stars, knows my name. The Lord, who is so great and powerful, redeemed me. I feel so small among the stars, but I feel more loved than ever when I feel so small. I was important enough for the Lord to send His Son, despite my smallness.

Our small lives didn’t keep God from sending His Son to die the most excruciating death for the sake of bringing us back into His presence. Our small impact does not keep the Lord from using us in our areas of influence. He uses us where we are once we allow Him that power in our lives.

Look at the stars. They are each small to our eyes. But when they work together, they light up the entire sky. Their areas of influence touch, lighting up much more together than they could alone.

There is beauty in feeling small. There are lessons to be learned from creation. There is a Lord who teaches us through the small things (or through feeling small because of the big things).

Learn from the stars. God put them there for a reason.