Have you ever felt restless?
I have. And I do. I’m not sure why. I think it’s something that is just part of me, part of how I’m made.
Two of my favorite worship songs are You Alone from Passion ’98 and No Other by David Ruis. There’s an interesting juxtaposition that forms between these two songs. Let me demonstrate:
In You Alone I sing “You have given me more than I could ever have wanted and I want to give you my heart and my soul.” I love that line – I think it’s the story of my life. God’s grace sometimes blows me away. And it’s breathtaking to think of how little I really understand of God’s grace. When I really see the whole story will I even be able to stand, or will I collapse in a pile of thanks? God has blessed me in so many ways: I’ve been so blessed with my wife Jill, and our four children. I simply can’t imagine life without them. It’s indescribable to see my oldest son lead worship. He’s becoming a man so quickly. I”m listening to our second, our oldest daughter, as she absent-mindedly harmonizes to her favorite music mix while she does her homework. It’s beautiful (she’s a worship leader too). Our third child is also a teenager now and she amazes me with her leadership skills and her love for theatre arts, drama, and music. She’s such a dynamo. And then there’s our youngest, our eight year old soccer-star. Seriously, that kid’s amazing at soccer. And his team has a record somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 wins and 5 losses over five seasons. He’s a goal-scoring machine and a talented athlete (and a heck of a funny, good-natured, charming little guy).
And God has given me a great job that I’m good at, for my part. He’s blessed Jill and I to be part of our singles ministry at church. I’ve been so blessed to be part of ministries at our church through the years that have changed my life in ways I can’t explain.
And, of course, and most importantly, I have a Savior who died for me and has taken away all my sins. All of them – gone. And He has given me His Spirit, and the promise of new life, forever in His presence. There’s nothing better than this.
What more could I want?
Yet in No Other I sing “How long until I’m satisfied? I must have more of You!” and I’m reminded of this almost palpable emptiness that I feel sometimes inside. I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s a longing to be what I was created to be. I feel it when I think about my brokenness and sin, or when I feel anxiety about whether or not I’m a good father, or when I’m wondering if our kids will have the wonderful futures we’ve prayed for. I feel it at work, as I stare into a computer monitor and wonder why I’m doing this work that sometimes seems so meaningless, or when I’m in an elevator alone riding the eight stories up to my floor and I lean back against the back of the elevator and close my eyes, in an effort to gain the motivation to go about the rest of my day. Jill and I talk about our frustrations as we wonder if the singles class is getting anything out of this ministry we’re attempting, or as we juggle the schedules of the class and balance that against the apathy we often encounter there.
It’s so easy to feel like a failure. Because in our fallen state, that’s what we are.
Yet we are more than conquerors too!
And so I feel the tension daily; the deep satisfaction of God’s grace balanced against the deep need of this broken sinner for the homecoming that I’ve been longing for all my Christian life.
Perhaps feeling restless is just part of the deal. And I’m good with that.
“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” – Psalm 17:15