Eternity in our Hearts

It is hard to wrap our minds around the infinite. I remember as a kid talking to my dad about outer space and the universe. I was in awe over the fact that if you kept going up into space you would never hit a wall that says no outlet, rather you could keep traveling forward. WOW! I could see where the desire to be an astronaut would be appealing; to be able to study this incredible universe. Its amazing, but yet unfathomable all at the same time.

We trust a lot in things that will all eventually fail us and come to an end. We trust in money to keep us stable. We trust in the loyalty  and presence of loved ones. We trust in medicine, exercise to keep our health in tact. We trust in the intellect to help us feel in control. We can even trust in doctrine and theology. In Ecclesiastes we read, all of this is meaningless on its own merits without God. To everything there is a season, a time and a purpose. Why would we want to put our whole hearted trust in these things, without God these things have no meaning.

God on the other hand has no end. He is ever increasing. He will never fail us. I was thinking how so many don’t give any thought to eternity. It seems easier to live for the now, but yet all the same time we were created for eternity, so no matter how we try to escape the thought of eternity, it is written in our hearts. The trap is we try to substitute this longing in our hearts for eternity for finite things that come to an end. St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you.” This is an ongoing journey. On this earth we have to deal with the restless struggle, but we choose to respond to it by falling at the feet of Jesus every day. He renews us daily. We must be renewed daily. We can’t just store up for a week and think that is going to sustain us. It doesn’t work that way just like we get hungry for food. We could eat a huge meal if we wanted, but the next day we will have to eat again to be nourished or we will whither away. Our hearts and souls are no different. We hunger for eternity, for God who is never ending, who never runs empty, who never fails. Why fill this hunger with cheap substitutes that don’t nourish that don’t satisfy? Its a trap, the substitute might seem appetizing but its death in the end. Its like the irony of being on a boat thirsty, seeing ocean water all around, but knowing that if you drank of that water it would kill you.

It seems so simple, yet we can be so foolish. We have two choices, choose the finite or choose the infinite. Trust in everything that will eventually come to an end, or trust in the One who has no end. Trust in the thing that only leads to death or trust in Him who is the giver of life.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hit a wall that says no outlet. I want to keep traveling forward discovering the wonder and awe of God and all the while being filled up with Jesus, the only one who can fully satisfy. I daily want to get on the rocket ship of my heart, and set out on the journey that He has set before me. I don’t want to just live a hum- drum Christian life only saying and doing all the appropriate things, but rather I want to live it with my whole being. Will you join me?

Eternally His,

Johanna

Fact – Christians Mess Up!

How many times do you hear people judging the Christian faith based on the way Christians act? I admit, I get really discouraged sometimes when I see Christians act in an un-Chrsit-like way and it is very easy to fall into the trap of judging the whole of Christianity based on Christians and then I am reminded that I am also at fault for not meeting that standard. Have I not messed up too? None of us can meet that standard and this is what makes Christianity different than other religions. Other religions are based on works; what I do determines my identity.

Christianity is different, our identity is not based on what we do or didn’t do.  If there is no grace then we are all doomed. Christians mess up. Christians are not perfect. Christians are no better than anyone else. The only one who is perfect, holy and righteous is Jesus, and it’s only through him that Christianity is defined, not through the actions of other Christians. If we had to live on a merit system, I would give up. If Christianity was based on what I did or am going to do, well I’d just throw in the towel on the whole thing. I could never hope to meet that standard.

So what do we really want? Are we judging Christians? Are we saying well if that person is a Christian why did she do that, or why did she say that? That’s not very Christian? Do we expect Christians to be perfect? If this is how we are viewing Christians then we need to turn around and look at ourselves and measure ourselves by the same manner? This is where it gets uncomfortable. We like mercy and grace when it’s coming our way but we don’t give it out so easy. I would venture to say that everyone would like to not be judged entirely on what they have said or done. I know I don’t. I have said and done some really stupid stuff. I want grace. I want mercy. That’s exactly what Christianity offers, if offers grace and mercy when I don’t deserve it. It offers the slate being wiped clean. Instead of God seeing all my mess ups, He sees Jesus right in the middle who took my place as the condemned. Instead of me on trial. Jesus went on trial on the cross. All I am asked to do is accept that free gift of exoneration. I don’t have to carry those chains anymore.

All around us we see  broken people. I am one of those. Churches are full of the sick, full of the broken. If we are looking for Christians to have it all together then we will be sorely disappointed. If your faith is based on how Christians act then you won’t be a Christian long. If you are waiting for the Christian church to be perfect, you will be waiting forever.

Simple Solution – Take your eyes off of the way Christians act as the representative of all Christianity and put your eyes on Jesus instead. He is the only reason and representative. If we take our eyes from him, we are going down a slippery slope. What sustains your faith? Is your faith built on sand or on the ROCK?

It’s only through the cross of Christ that we can have hope and for that I am eternally thankful!