This is written in response to the part of Augustine’s Confessions which says “You awaken us to delight in your praise. You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” To read the entire passage, visit this website.
Reading this passage by St. Augustine makes my heart go “oh…”. A heart sigh of pleasure and contentment and understanding. Prior to reading this, my heart felt restless and sad and lonely. Doubts crept in forming tears in my eyes. I wondered if I was living the life I was meant to live. I worried for the future. I felt alone and didn’t know how to fix it. So much of my personality felt wrong yet so much a part of me that I couldn’t relinquish it without losing myself. Augustine points out that my heart will remain that way until I allow it to rest in God. So I breathe and choose to rest even while living a busy life. I listen to the voice- that still, small voice- that says, “you are mine, dear child. Stop your fretting and be free.” For in the silence of my heart, God speaks His words of truth.
This passage makes me ponder the wonderful grace of God that He would choose first to create me and then to dwell in me. There are so many other places He could be, yet he chooses to be in my heart. How can the magnitude of God fit inside of this minuscule and mortal body? The heavens and the earth can’t contain God, yet He can be completely within me.
I am reminded that my faith is a gift from God, the greatest gift I could ever receive. Because of this, I ask for more faith daily so that I can learn to trust God more and more. Yet even a small amount of faith in God can move a mountain. That’s the power of God within me, nothing that I earned or deserve, yet given to me freely.
Then come the times that I allow my faith to shift focus to myself. Pride takes over and selfish desires direct my steps. God dwells in me, so when I sin, I take Him to those places. That saddens me and fills me with shame. Yet it is only by His grace I am forgiven and set free. God dwells in my heart, inebriating it and allowing me to forget my sin if only for a moment. I can rest in knowing that Jesus’ blood has covered me so thoroughly that God does not shy away from being within me providing the rest I am experiencing. I do not have to look back at my forgiven sins because I can look into the presence of God when I look into myself now. He has taken my sins and cast them to the bottom of the ocean.
Yet it is also a privilege to be reprimanded by God. Discipline means that God is part of my life. so while the discipline is painful, I thank God for loving me enough to do so. Parents who love their children discipline them so that the children can become better adults. In my youth of my salvation, God disciplines me so that I can grow to be more and more like Him, full of perfection.
All of this is why I plead “let me run towards this voice and seize hold of you.” God, I want more and more of You. I am thirsty for You and long to be near You. I would be nothing without You, God, so I want to remain forever in Your presence. Draw me near for I need You, God. I don’t understand You but I want You. Fill me!