The last forty days I have purposefully cut out distractions (TV, books, social media) in order to focus more time and attention on God’s Word and prepare my heart for Easter. As I have quieted my heart I have felt an awakening in my soul. A longing for more of Him.
This weekend was the culmination of my Lenten season and I was so looking forward to Easter Sunday worship. As we pulled out of the church parking lot only one word came to mind to describe my feelings about Easter worship… disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, we attend an amazing church filled with people who genuinely love the Lord. I don’t think it was the church’s fault I felt disappointed. In two decades of following Jesus I can’t think of one Easter service that I’ve attended and left feeling satisfied.
Easter morning I couldn’t stop thinking of Johnny the Brave, a sweet 8 year old boy with an inoperable brain tumor who got to go Home last Thursday. Johnny got to spend Easter Sunday worshiping at the very throne of God. And I have a feeling no one standing in Jesus’ presence with Johnny felt disappointment.
When I think of Johnny worshiping at the feet of Jesus and me stuck here in this fallen world where sin and suffering reigns I realize why my heart longs for more. It’s not better songs, or more compelling music, or deeper sermons that my heart aches for. It’s HIM! His face, His voice, His presence.
“But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20
In the heart of every child of God is a longing that this world can’t satisfy. Every joy that causes our heart to swell is a foretaste of eternal glory. And every hurt that causes our heart to ache is a reminder of a coming day that will be free from sorrow.
Yet, instead of embracing the longing for our eternal home we distract ourselves with earthly entertainment. Filling our days with diversions to keep our minds occupied with anything other than Him.
Which leaves me with the question, what am I to do now? After forty days of purposefully quieting my life to listen to Him can I go back to the way things were? I could. Easily. But I don’t want to. Don’t get me wrong, I want to resume my routine of sitting on the couch with my popcorn and remote control. But not at the expense of losing this longing in my heart. Not if resuming the noise of life brings about the quieting of His voice.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13
If I seek Him with all of my heart I will find Him. Not with a divided heart, but with my whole heart. And that is my greatest desire, to find Him. To see Him face to face. But until that day comes I want to spend my time here seeking Him. I want to embrace the longing in my heart for Home, and not allow myself to be distracted any longer by the things of this world.
What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.