This is a guest post from Monica Boughdady - a medical student from London, England who has guest posted on my blog before. You can follow Monica on her blog, The Prodigal Daughter, and also on twitter, @MonicaBoughdady. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
Most of us have heard the story of the Feeding of the 5000 – when Jesus fed a multitude of more than 5000 people with simply 5 loaves and 2 pieces of fish. It’s probably one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. And why not? It is great miracle where everyone goes home satisfied and thinking Jesus is great.
But somehow, there’s a certain verse in the story that pierces my heart every time I read it.
"Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” John 6:26-27
I can’t help but feel that many of us are like the crowd of people that followed Jesus. Sure they were following Jesus (which is a good thing to do) but the question is: why were they following Him? What were they seeking? God, or the gifts of God?
In the beginning of my journey with Christ I could truly profess “your love is more delightful than wine” (Songs 1:2). His love was the sweetest. It was better than any lustful desire or any adrenaline rush.
In time, just like the Shulamite in the book of Songs, my heart went to other lovers. Then, my heart was broken in two when I read God's message to me:
"Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce" Jeremiah 3:8
Our God is a jealous God. Like the crowd of people I was still following Him but my eyes were looking elsewhere. Although I loved Him and followed Him, I was seeking more. I was seeking His blessings and His gifts more than I was seeking Him as a Person. Don't get me wrong, It is true that God calls us to ask and to call on His promises, but isn't He supposed to be enough?
For many single people out there, this very struggle surfaces at the thought of marriage and a future spouse. We read blogs and books and listen to sermons about how we should seek God first and foremost then in time God will provide the right man/woman. Seems like a good deal to me. Purity ring firmly locked down on that finger, we are ready to wait for this prince charming to come and sweep us off our feet.
God acts as a great filler in the meantime. He is our everything....for now. They say that True love waits but what are we waiting for? We already have the truest and most spectacular love we could ever ask for. His is the greatest love story ever told. A love that would literally die for you, now that’s romantic.
Sometimes we question God. “Why would God give me all these lustful and worldly desires only to tell me that they are wrong?”
Realize that the desire is never wrong; without desire we lack passion and drive. It is through Jesus that our desires are transformed and sanctified to be refocused and redirected towards Him. This has to happen daily. It is a struggle and every day we stand before Him and say:
I believe that what I have in You is better, it is sweeter and it is enough.
Like David, we must learn to cry out to the Lord to “restore to me the joy of your salvation” because there is no greater joy. Let us pray for the realization that He is enough. Actually He is more than enough.
John Piper, a Christian pastor and author, said it best:
The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?