Augustine, the great early Christian bishop and author, once wrote this famous sentence: “You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

I love that comment.  For me, it explains so much of what I see around me.

Often, people say that there is a God-shaped void in each one of us that only God can fill.  What else can explain the general dissatisfaction in people’s hearts – even in the hearts of Christians?

I look at myself and I have to say that I often try to fill that void with things other than God.  God wants me to enjoy the things he has given me and the people around me.  The issue is whether I am replacing God with these good things.

I like the way Augustine begins his sentence: “You (God) have made us for yourself . . .”  If that is true – and I believe it is – we will only be fulfilled if our relationship with the Lord is strong.

The idea of the “restless heart” seems to fit me and my moods when I am focused too much on myself.

The apostle Paul made the great statement: “For me, to live is Christ . . .” (Philippians 1:21)  He spoke with confidence and assurance because God came first.  The things he did flowed naturally out of his close relationship with the Lord.

Of course, this desire for something more is not always due to our being far from God.  As some have said, this desert experience can be a time of preparation for the next important stage in our life with God.

David described this feeling in these words: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1)

David’s spirit was “downcast” as he says later in the psalm.  So it often is with the restless heart.

But that can be a good thing.  It is a sign that God is calling me.

If I respond by going to God, I will find the rest that Augustine talks about.


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