You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
It had been a desperate search for inner peace. Call it satisfaction, joy, pleasure, happiness. Long had she sensed this gnawing ache, the stabbing pain of longing. Something just wasn’t right. Something incomplete.
She wouldn’t have thought of it in these terms till now. But as the campus ministry staffer shared her own story, and talked about tasting true satisfaction, it finally began to make sense. All the effort toward scholastic achievement. All the energy getting guys’ attention. The countless compromises she’d made along the way, ignoring her deep sense of what she knew to be best in the long-term for what seemed most pleasurable in the moment, and then was shown to be empty so quickly.
It had been a frantic chase, and only now was she seeing it, only now as she realized it was coming to an end. This is what she had always panted for. Now everything seemed to be spinning, and in slow motion. She was disoriented, and it was wonderful.
Now as she sat across from someone who talked about Jesus as if she knew him personally, she could tell by looking into her eyes that this person had what she’d been so desperately trying to find all along. And it was being offered. At last, it was hers.
What You’re Searching For
It is a remarkable thing — almost too good to be true — that the God of ages past offers himself to us in the present as our truest satisfaction and deepest delight. After everything else we’ve tried, after all the other ways we’ve sought to find joy, after all the places we’ve looked and run to for satisfaction.
The Creator of the universe designed our hearts for himself — and in particular for his Son, who shared our flesh and spilt his own blood to rescue us. Our hearts are restless, said Saint Augustine, till they find their rest in him.
When his grace shines in and breaks our hearts of stone, we finally see that he is the one for whom we’ve been pining so deeply. He truly is the treasure, worth selling all we have to secure (Matthew 13:44). He is the one of surpassing value, worth losing everything else to gain (Philippians 3:8).
He is the one in whose midst all joy is found. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
He Holds the Future
But the God of ages past not only offers us the pleasure of knowing him today; he promises “pleasures forevermore.” The joy he offers is not only deeper than any other; it is also more durable. He can satisfy your soul today, and he will satisfy it forever, in the coming ages, as he shows “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).
The God of ages past enters into our present, sustains us, and carries us into the future. And for all eternity, it will only get better and better — the joy and satisfaction will only deepen and ripen and grow thicker and fuller — as the God of ages future draws us further up and further into the infinite riches of knowing him.
My wife never forgot that conversation with the campus staffer. That was when the shutters of her soul were first thrown open and the light streamed in. That’s when the dam of her old heart of stone finally broke, and the grace of God flooded in. Those were her first real sights and tastes. But that was not the highpoint of her joy. The search was over, but true satisfaction had just begun.