Famous Christian apologist and writer C. S. Lewis said once, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world” (from Mere Christianity). When we thirst, there is water. We hunger, there is food. But what of the restlessness of the soul? If there is restlessness, this must mean, we have a desire for rest. But what earthly cure is there for this? Money can’t buy you love nor can it quell restlessness.” Neither can self-worship, liberal freedom, antitheism, alcohol, drugs, (watch any episode of Intervention to see this manifested) sex, status, education or material possessions. If religion is, as explained by Karl Marx, “The opium of the people,” what are these things? An opiate’s (drug’s) influence reaches a zenith and drags one down to nadir. Its temporary power is nothing for an everlasting restlessness. These may distract us from restlessness but they do not correspond with it nor can deal with it. It is the proverbial, square peg round hole dilemma. Been there, done that.
Augustine said of God, “You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you” (Confessions, Book 1, p. 1). The wisdom of the ages advances, “Trust and follow your heart. You will find rest.” The Bible stands in stark contrast. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.” How backwards and contrary, right? This is so not how I’ve been taught! How opposite from the message I have heard all of my life. What drivel! Yet how many times has your heart led you astray and burnt you worse than third-degree burns? How many pages could you write, stories could you tell? I know I could tell many.
We all have a restlessness yet the catalysts have been different. One person may be restless because they never became in life what they became in their dreams. One person may be restless because they have done such horrible things in life that they feel there can be no forgiveness; they are too far gone. One is restless because of poverty while another is restless because of bankruptcy. Another may be restless because they were abused as a child. One is restless because of terminal-illness while another is terminally-ill with bitterness and unforgiveness. The catalyst for these catalysts is sin and the effect is the restlessness. Our hearts are indeed restless. But rest is available.
The hole of restlessness can be made whole by Jesus. You might say, “But God can’t understand my restlessness!” Really? Christ was infinitely restless in the garden of Gethsemane to such a degree that he sweat blood. He was restless because of what he was going to endure on the cross. He would die and pay our sin debt against God:
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
“…and the LORD had laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6)
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10).
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).
The sins of the world? Is that not reason to be restless?
French philosopher Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” If you are restless, stop trying to fill that hole with things never meant to fill it and begin filling it with Him who was. Seek Him today while he may be found. He is mighty to save, to forgive, and to comfort.
“Come to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest onto your souls.”