“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.”
— C.S. Lewis (1898–1963)
This most famous of quotes by the legendary 20th-century author and apologist hits the nail on the head regarding the mystery of life: we weren’t ever meant to feel satisfied.
In a world that promises so much, but delivers so little, honing in on the extraneous desires, there is one vital input that millions upon millions run without. Although more than 90% of the world’s population believe in God, at least that proportion of people don’t know Jesus Christ. My attempt, here, is to argue the case for Christ in the context of an otherwise deeply unsatisfying life without God.
A salient example of the deepest dissatisfaction anyone could face is the despair rooted in the worst kind of addiction—where the desires scream out to be satisfied, but never are. The addict knows all too well there is nothing in the world that can satisfy him, but he is just the same contorted beyond his own control to seek to satisfy. Such a seeking can often prove the death of him. He cannot be healed of his pain without God.
A less graphic example is the case of the common man or woman who has an ordinary life. They aren’t plagued by any addictions, but they certainly are plagued by some nuances of worry, frustration, or longing. They wonder why life has to be so hard. Surely life is easier for other people, they think.
But life is not easy for anyone. It isn’t easy, but with courage it can be a delight.
Very simply put, this life cannot satisfy us unless we venture through life by faith. This is where Jesus Christ fits in—the man and God that Christians revere.
Turning Our Sense of Belonging Upside Down
When the original listeners of Jesus heard him speak, they heard him speak of another world—an eternal world—a true Home. This eternal world, Jesus said, is the world we really belong in. He said this earthly world cannot satisfy us. Only where we put our hopes on the next world do we arrive at a modus operandi that works in this life.
Then, and only then, does enduring this life make any sense whatsoever.
Whenever we finally arrive at the understanding that pushing our own barrow, and fighting our own fight, is useless, we come to a decision point. Some go one way and give up entirely, suiciding their way out of life. That is an awful waste. But just the same, there are some that run headlong into the arms of God. And there they find rest for their souls; a rest they were intrinsically wired to receive. (By far the majority fend regardless in an entirely unsatisfactory life, pretending to be satisfied by their worldly distractions.)
Some may accuse these searchers of running to another addiction.
In reality, God ordained from the beginning that there should only be one devotion—a sort of devotion that is completely healthy and life-giving. Probably every other devotion falls short of healthiness.
The only way we can survive happily in this life, importantly, in a truthful way, is to become open and to stay open with God; to establish a relationship with the Father, through his Son. Through faith in the Son—through what Jesus did on the cross to absolve us and repeal the cost of our sin—we gain the power of grace, which powers us through all dissatisfaction and delivers us to a way for living that is abundantly sustainable.
There’s a reason this life is a struggle. We were made for another world. Our desires rally and rage, proof of the unsatisfying nature of this life. But there is lasting satisfaction in the Lord Jesus, who has prepared for us our Home in eternity; a reality we may have a foretaste of now.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.