You give your life for paper idols that blow away at any storm.
You settle for a lesser pleasure and hope that it’s worth living for.
Well you were made for deeper passion.
You’ll roam the earth until you know, Jesus fills the deepest longing of the soul.
O wandering desire, when will you be at rest? Coveting, imagining things not given yet.
The peace you need is waiting to fill your emptiness.
Be satisfied with Jesus and nothing less.
I read an article recently on The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. The article begins with the statement: Why are women so unhappy? Hmmm … I couldn’t help but continue reading because many of the women I’ve known live in unhappiness most of the time. Sometimes the woman is ME! So, what’s the deep, dark secret of why we are unhappy?
Well, it’s not that deep nor is it really hidden. CS Lewis said, “What does not satisfy when we find it, was not the thing we were desiring.” So that’s not that deep, even if CS Lewis was the one that said it. I admit, sometimes when I read something he said, I have to think about it for hours, even days. But right when I read this, I knew exactly what he meant and I knew it was so true. The reason women (and men too) are unhappy is because we are empty and trying to fill the emptiness with things that don’t satifsy, and will never satisfy. The song lyrics above (Travis Cottrell) refer to this. You settle for a lesser pleasure and hope that it’s worth living for. Now that’s deep…. and challenging.
“God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about His ways. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” (Mere Christianity, CS Lewis)
The article reminded me that the real paradox about female happiness is that no matter how hard we try, we are never going to be able to MAKE ourselves happy. Nor will a man (our husbands) make us happy. Nor will children, career, prominence, possessions, lifestyle…nor anything else that we might strive after. Apart from having a fresh, intimate and up-to-date walk with Jesus, the Source of real joy, women will never find what they look for. The truth is that Jesus is the only Way to fill the deepest longings of the soul.
So this leads me to a somewhat painful, but real conclusion about my life. No matter what I buy. No matter how much I decorate my home. No matter how many BFFs I have. No matter the color of my hair or how many Starbuck’s Frappuccinos I buy, these will not bring real, lasting happiness. I’m sad to admit that when I’m feeling down, many times in my life I look to these lesser things to make me feel happy. But if I was truthful, I have to say that it’s only a temporary fix. My heart and soul don’t experience true and lasting peace and joy from these. Oh wandering desire, when will you be at rest?
I sometimes sing, “all my delight is in You Lord.” But I know even as I sing that, I struggle with living it. I am still sometimes attempting to fill the void with things or people that don’t and never will. Ecclesiastes is not my favorite book of the Bible. Just sayin’. It’s kinda depressing to me. Maybe it’s because I somehow wish THINGS and PEOPLE could bring us real pleasure, fulfillment and happiness. It seems easier. Find the thing that fulfills you and buy it. Find the person that makes you happy, marry them. Find the house, the car, the clothes you like …. and voila! … happy ending. But’s it’s not that easy. And yet it IS simple.
None but Jesus. Nothing but Jesus.
The peace I need is waiting. The joy is waiting too. Peace + Joy = Happiness. People say that happiness is based on feelings and joy is deeper. I know what they mean when they say that but I’ve discovered that when I have peace and joy, I’m happy … I even FEEL happy. Even in the hardest loss, I believe we can be happy in Jesus. When a Christian loved one dies, we mourn, but not without hope. We can actually experience happiness in the loss.
I am still a long way from having the pleasure and happiness in Jesus I would like to have on a daily basis. But even as I write this today, I am faced with truth of why I struggle so much with it. In the verse of the song by Cottrell, one line says it all:
When others see my blessing, I still despise my lot and measure off the height and breadth of every good thing I have not.
That is not where I want to live!
So … I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms.
In the arms of my dear Savior …. OH THERE ARE TEN THOUSAND CHARMS.