Restless Hearts

 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14

Nothing fills the ever-present void in our hearts except for the presence of our Lord. We may chase after seemingly-satisfying things, escaping only temporarily the heartbreak of this life. The pleasures of this life are temporal. They are meaningless, satisfying for a few days or maybe even a few years, but never fully satisfying the cravings in our hearts.

We seek to be truly happy, yet we turn to every single thing imaginable other than the Creator of happiness and of life itself. We crave something more than this life is offering us, and are not content until we find what we believe makes our hearts truly happy. We place our happiness in other people, finding ourselves only content through the presence of others. We find satisfaction in certain activities, whether it's a new hobby or even something as far as the pleasure of sin, through acts of drugs and alcohol and acts of lust. Humanity is searching for something greater than what most find. Our hearts are empty, and we seek to fill it. Many believe they do, but none of these things last long. They are temporal, meaningless pleasures under the sun.

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I've been learning more than ever before that in the midst of sadness, when I find myself basing my happiness on the presence of other people or activities in my life, that contentment is not truly found. These things are fading. When they slip like the wind, my heart is no longer full. In fact, it is never full unless all contentment, all satisfaction, is placed in Christ alone. He is the Only One who can fill the human heart, which He created.

Our hearts have a God-shaped hole that only He can fit. We are made for something more. We are made for a life of satisfaction, of contentment and pleasure, but we will always be craving that very thing until we chase after the One who created happiness itself. We will always be restless until we live life according to the purpose for which He created us: to live in step with Him.

Jesus is the Only One who doesn't change. In a world of meaningless things, a world that is fading and will one day no longer exist, God will still be on the throne, and our hearts will truly be full of joy.

In the moments of discontentment, when your heart is restless and your happiness is based on the presence of other people or things, fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the only One who can fulfill our craving hearts and bring pure joy to this fading life.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13


Short Reflections After an Extended 21-Day Fast

I just returned from a 21-day social media fast, which I ended up extending to over a month long! It was such a breath of fresh air to escape an addiction that I've been facing as well as partake in a necessity in my walk with God. I really experienced His calling on my heart to do it and I'm so glad I did! He worked and moved beyond what I imagined.

If you're facing an addiction or would just like to sacrifice something to grow in your relationship with the Lord, I recommend fasting. This was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Here are a few things God revealed to me:

--Trust in Him. Many trials--some worse than others--came during this time of fasting and I know that if I hadn't been fasting, I would not have been as strong in my faith as I have been over this past month and would've had an even harder time during these trials. He answered several prayers during this time, from prayers I've been praying for years to ones I began praying during this period of time. Through His faithful answers and movement in my faith, I've truly learned to depend and trust in the Lord and in His great love for me.

--Wait on Him and trust that He will reveal to me His will for my life at His right timing. As I've been praying harder than ever before about my future and His will for me with college, my major, and my future career, He revealed to me several times, oftentimes with the same Scriptural passage, through different sources that this is a waiting season. Continue seeking Him. Continue knocking on the door. At the right time, I will know what door is open and what door He has called me to walk through. He will reveal to me what to do at His right timing. Until then, learn to seek Him fully. Wait and pray. Ask for His perspective and desire only His will. I know that at the right timing, I will know for sure what to do--and it will be in line with what He has already been doing in my life.

--He spoke to me several times about going out in the world and making disciples. Go. Go. Go! The word was everywhere. He has called me to pray daily for the lost in my life and to grow in boldness and in faith. To open up and share my faith and what God has been doing in my life will be a challenge, but it is my wish that His love will shine through me this year and that I will be a part of going and leading people to Him. Grow in boldness, and be faithful in prayer!

--Be still. I began praying from day one of the fast to help me be still and yet it took me until the end of the fast to realize that He has done just that. Throughout the entire month, I barely made it anywhere, other than my home, school, and occasionally a place or two (such as Winter Jam during the second week!). Church, volunteering at the shelter, or any other normal to-do never worked out, as things were coming up again and again. Yet through the trials, I grew stronger in Him. As my schedule became less busy and more about Him, I was able to spend more time in prayer and in His Word. I grew stronger in my faith.

God knew the bad times that were coming, and yet He called me to take a break from the constant scrolling of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and led me to the foot of the cross, experiencing the love and grace of Christ in a way that was different than ever before. Because of this fast, I was able to handle the trials with a faith stronger and more dependent on Him. I wrote pages upon pages in my prayer notebook  during this period of time about what God has been doing, and I am just so grateful I listened to the call of the Holy Spirit on my heart. This was one of the most memorable moments in my walk with God, and I recommend fasting from any addiction/idol in your life as well!

With that being said, God is good.