This devotional is written by Audrey Assad. Audrey is an independent singer, musician, and songwriter whose musical influences range from Paul Simon and the Carpenters to Feist and Jack White. More often than not she has her nose in a book—usually something by Tolstoy, C.S. Lewis, Pope John Paul II, or Madeline L’Engle.
It seems there is a primordial belief in every human heart that this life is not the pinnacle of existence. All religious walks show this instinct in some fashion, I think; the teaching of afterlife is not exclusive to Christianity. Man generally believes in some form of the Beyond, however he may choose to describe it, or whatever his theology may be. I’ve long believed this to be one of the things the writer of Ecclesiastes meant when he wrote that “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end”. (Ecclesiastes 3:9) . Eternity has been woven into the fabric of our being.
C.S. Lewis insightfully describes this instinct. From his book, Mere Christianity; “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” And St. Augustine of Hippo, hundreds of years before Lewis ever put pen to paper, encapsulated this very thought a little more simply in the quote from which the song Restless takes its inspiration; “You have made us for Yourself, oh God; and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” – St. Augustine, the Confessions of St. Augustine, book 1.
This song, Restless, draws a parallel between two seemingly perpendicular ideas; first, that God is worthy of our praise, that He dwells in our praises, and that He is the keeper of our hearts; and secondly, that even though we know and believe these things, we are still a restless people. You would think that if we believed the words we sing in worship every day, we would have found—and applied—the cure for our restlessness long ago. But you see, rather than being a reason for self-hatred or a source of shame, the restlessness of the human heart actually points to the great and creative Love of God, who designed us to desire Him. How good He is to instill in us a longing for the only One who can satisfy and save us. And it is right that we should still feel that longing, even though we now know Him; for we are not home yet. He is the Way, to be sure, but also the destination; and until we are in glory with Him, the restlessness remains.
Your restlessness is an open door to worship, not a closed one. You can praise God in and through your restlessness without guilt; for merely by existing, your restlessness reveals the heart of God, and His great love for you.