This morning I woke up from a dream with my Mom as real as could be. In the dream it was Christmas time and she was exchanging gifts with my Dad oblivious to the fact of the turmoil we had all gone through before she returned. It was such a dream that when I woke up I was actually upset. I remember asking her why she thought that leaving like she did to make us believe she was dead was a good idea. I remember telling her I was shocked to see her in person and I did not know whether to believe that she was real. All this time, my Mom and Dad thought that everything was normal.
I do not describe this dream to you simply for the sake of sharing it. There have been multiple times in the past week where the hole that my Mom left when she went home to heaven ached with the longing of her. Dreams like this as well as moments of grief have reminded me of the hole she left. It hit me further just how much no one and no thing could ever fill that spot she had in my heart, ever again. No matter what, a piece of me is forever missing.
But the beautiful thing about God is that like all holes in our hearts, he longs to fill them. No new health regime, no new drug, no new person, no new season of life, no new family member, nothing, absolutely nothing will ever fill that hole on our own. We all have holes in our hearts. Any hole is never intended for anything other than God.
We can try to replicate the feelings that we sometimes experience when we have the feel good encounters with Jesus. We can try to replicate the happy memories of the person long gone. We can try to replicate the feeling of just being content and happy with drugs, sex, and high success in life but none of that will last. It will not last because unless it is God, everything else is just a fake representation of what is our inheritance through Jesus Christ.
As my heart has ached with what has felt like a huge gaping hole at times, I have run to Jesus and fallen into his arms. When I have asked him to take away the ache he has helped soothe my soul. But there is still this longing and yearning. I have asked God about this. I have pondered it, chewed on it, and sought the scriptures. Then one day it clicked for me. Earth is temporary. Earth is not my home. Heaven is. So why on earth would I expect to never long or yearn for the things of Heaven, of eternity? I am homesick for a place that is part of my inheritance. It is a natural longing. It is a longing God placed inside us to remind us that what we experience here on earth is temporary and we must think eternal!
The connection that I experienced with my Mom was one that was a taste of heaven. It was intended to remind me who God is. It was intended to remind me that every second on earth counts and has eternal consequences. Am I being a good steward of my life and gifts? Am I doing all I can to love others and lead them to Jesus in all aspects of my life? What I portray through word and deed am I portraying him?
If you feel an ache for more, if you feel the longing for someone or something, remember that it is always for God. Some of these longings are so intense that we do all we can to fill them. Always choose to go to God. Do not be satisfied with anything other than him, even if it means making drastic changes to your life to spend hours with him everyday. Spiritual discipline is literally the best medicine. Get up earlier, take 15-minute breaks at work to read the Bible and pray. Make praying with your family a priority. Pursue Jesus. Make him a priority over anything else. Choose Jesus in everything. When you do this, you will make him famous. When you do this, you will think eternally and live your life in full abandon to him. When you do this, you are choosing love; you are choosing joy.
The feeling of happiness comes and goes. Love remains. When you have Love, choosing joy becomes easier because it is not about you anymore. Choosing joy comes from the times you spend with Jesus. When you choose him, the dirty things will naturally be sifted from the heart to help get rid of anything that hinders us from growing deeper with him. Sometimes our struggles come from a natural sifting of the heart because God wants to cleanse us of all things that keep us from diving deeper into his heart for us. He wants to dispel lies sown into our beings from years of struggles. He wants to be your only love, only desire, only joy because all good things flow from his blood.
If you feel the ache, turn to Jesus. If you have a hole that needs filled, choose Jesus. Our entire hearts are intended for God. He made us this way. He placed the longing for him in our hearts to reveal just a tiny bit of how much he longs for us. His love is the best medicine for any aching heart and body.
What will you choose to fill your heart? What will you choose for eternity?
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”