Augustine said of God, “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” I think some people are more aware of this restlessness than others. It may seem strange, but I also think that this restlessness may last a lifetime. For a long time I was frustrated in my faith. I grew up hearing that we all have a “God-shaped hole” in us that only Christ can fill. However, even after following Christ since I was young, I continued to feel Augustine’s “restlessness.” Something was missing. Was my faith not strong enough, was I wallowing in some secret sin, or had I missed God’s calling for my life. This let me to a lot of introspection and self psychoanalysis. Sure there were rats in the basement when I looked hard enough. No one is perfect. Too many witch hunts in your subconscious mind is not good though. It has taken me most of my life to figure out what was missing. It was God. Kind of like find the treasure you set out to find buried underneath your house.
Christians have received an unparalleled chance to experience God on this earth, yet our experience of him is nothing compared to that of heaven. On earth we still have areas of our lives controlled by us and sin. In heaven we will be fully his. On earth God is omnipresent, yet our closeness to him in heaven with glorified bodies cannot be compared to what we experience now. We have rest in God, yet not it its fullness; hence the restlessness because there really is something missing. I feel like I am writing to a very small group. Certain people are just more aware of this than others. Some only feel it unexpectedly at a sunset, during a song, at the end of a good story. The desire has been awakened, uncovered for a moment. A bitter-sweet longing for a place that we have never been before, but we know is home. I used to get frustrated at this feeling, it was so confusing. It invades many areas of life. Relationships, no matter how good they can be here on earth, still have been tinged by sin. Friendship and love are not in the fullness that they will be. We are restless till these barriers are removed and we have experienced the full glory God intended in the garden, which exists in heaven.
Now it is more like going to the beach. Sometimes on a trail to the ocean you can smell the sea before you see it. These whiffs of another world, of completeness in God, remind me that somewhere, just over the next hill, is the ocean of Himself.