Monday, August 17, 2015

Paved Paradise

 As we sang the lyrics at church, I just kept thinking about the fact that truly there is nothing my soul wants more than to be close to God.  And as I survey all other relationships and experiences, nothing can compare to the feeling I get when I'm in His presence, when I feel that connection with God.  Nothing compares.... and truly there is no place that I'd rather be.

I've had "best friends" and I have a very loving family.  Yet, as much as I love them and love spending time with them, none of it compares to that feeling I get when it's just God and me.  In that space and time, I feel loved in unconditional abundance.  And I'm safer there than anywhere else.  I'm always welcomed. Always accepted.  Never rejected, in any way.  I'm at peace in His presence.  I experience joy that is like no other.  I experience courage because I can trust His promises for me. There's no other place I rather be.

But still I get distracted and busy with other things.  And I sort of drift away from that connection with Him.  In fact, I might even begin to replace the relationship.  I mean I don't set out to do so; at least not intentionally.  But nevertheless, I do.  I look for joys and peace elsewhere.  I strive for love and acceptance from the people around me.  I begin to seek thrills and contentment in things like entertainment or my career endeavors.  I'm seeking, searching... and all the while, my soul is yearning for that connection with God.  All the while, my soul just longs to be in His presence.  And He's waiting to meet me there.  

There is a song that holds some very interesting lyrics... "They paved paradise to put up a parking lot".  And I can't help but think that that is precisely what we do with God and His loving kindness toward us.  We have it all in Him.  We have it good!  We are blessed in Him.  We can rest assure in Him.  And yet, we wander and look for those things in other places.  In places where the love and kindness only last but a short time.  We look to find joy and assurance in people and things, but all of it will fall short.  In essence, "we pave the paradise God offers to put up a parking lot". As if He's not enough.  As if we knew better.  As if His promises are not sufficient.  How foolish are we!!

Don't misunderstand.  I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with wanting good and intimate relationships with others.  Or that there's something wrong with seeking to enjoy life and its endeavors.  But when the God of all creation longs to be in connection with us, and deep inside, our souls continually yearn to be close to Him, why do we wander?  Why do we turn from what is truly the best place to be?  

Nothing, I mean nothing can take the place of His love for us.  Nothing can complete us like His grace can.  Nothing can ever be better than being with Him.  Nothing.

I encourage you, if you're skeptical, to allow your soul to rest in His presence.  To allow your soul to be at peace because of who He is.  And when you experience that, you too will say, "there's no place I rather be".

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