I yearned for them, not Thee;
But, while I passed my Savior by,
His love laid hold on me.
Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me,
There’s love and life and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee.
Now none but Christ can satisfy
We sang this hymn recently and the words in the first two lines pricked at me –
“I sighed for rest and happiness, I yearned for them, not Thee.”
Rest and happiness are things I desire to carve out – in my home, in my life, in my relationships. And truly, rest and happiness are good things, necessary things. As wife, mother, homemaker, and homeschool teacher my life revolves around my home and so a pleasant atmosphere is necessary for a place where so much time is spent.
But at the cost of what if the atmosphere turns into the end desire? Can I idolize rest and happiness? The sad truth is yes, yes I can.
The truth of it is, anything that comes before Christ is an idol.
When my focus is on creating an atmosphere I tend to get vexed when things don’t go my way.
The sighs of frustration, the complaining about children’s messes, the impatience over slow moving mornings – those are symptoms of my own heart mess because I feel things should be a certain way and things aren’t going that way.
However, when my focus is on Christ I can joyfully accept whatever interruptions He allows in my day, knowing that He is enthroned over all. I can respond with love and patience, I can encourage and lift up my children while correcting their childish errors.
Isn’t it funny how we look for things to make sense to us? We strive for tangible experiences, for signs and wonders, visible manifestations. We long for things that we can quantify with our own words and expressions, and when we cannot we get discouraged, lose hope, become frustrated. I say we, but this is me.
I forget so easily that God’s ways are not my ways. I know in my head but don’t live out in my moment by moment responses to daily struggles the reality that He is a good, merciful, compassionate and faithful God. He truly is the only one that can satisfy. All of the other things, despite how good they may be, that I chase after and prioritize over Him will leave me frustrated and unsatisfied.
THERE’S LOVE & LIFE & LASTING JOY
When my focus shifts to prioritize good things over God things they become dangerous things. So what is the balance between good things and God things? How do we create the home atmosphere we desire without making that the priority? It seems like the answer is found in Him – when we live out the reality that He alone can satisfy, that we need Him every moment, we cling to Him in our own weakness and find His strength to be enough.
Enough to get us through the hard moments. Enough to pour out our lives for others. Enough, even, to create a home atmosphere that is restful and happy because it is an outpouring of His love, an eternal love with no limits.
There is a well known passage in Philippians that is convicting to the core with its straightforward exhortation in finding our satisfaction in Christ –
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Questions to consider:
- Have I turned good things, such as rest and happiness, into idols?
- How can I practically take steps to find the balance between good and God things?
- What would it mean to live out each day the truths of this hymn – that none but Christ can satisfy?