Looking for Yourself
April 2, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? – Matthew 16:24-26 NKJV.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4 NKJV.
A tourist group on a tour bus in Iceland was on their way to Eldgia Canyon when they made a rest stop near the Canyon. One of the women on the tour took the opportunity to change clothes and freshen up a little. When the group had reassembled to resume their trip to the Canyon for some unknown reason the group did not recognize the woman who had changed clothes and instead thought that she was missing. A search party was then made up of 50 people from the group (This included the missing woman who didn’t know they were searching for her.) and others which began searching the area. The Icelandic Coast Guard began to mobilize to help in the effort. Finally, many hours later someone in the group realized that the one they were looking for was actually helping them look for herself. The missing woman had finally found herself! (Orange News 03.11.14)
For most of my life, I have heard about people who leave home traveling about trying to find themselves. It is said to be an adventure in self-discovery. What is it that they find when they finally find themselves? What is it that they are really searching for? When you join a search party looking for yourself what are you trying to find?
From my own observations, it would appear that we would all like to have a meaningful life. We would like our lives to count, to make a difference in someway. We have a built in desire for something. Our hearts desire what? This is what we are really searching for when we begin to try to find ourselves, the desires of our hearts.
Blaise Pascal may be the first who wrote about the God shaped hole in our hearts when he said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”Although I believe King Solomon was speaking of this same thing when he said, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives (Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 NKJV).” The Amplified Bible translates a portion of verse 11 as: “He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]….”As we are told in the Acts 17 the apostle Paul noticed that the people of Athens were worshiping an “unknown god.” The people of Athens also had a God shaped vacuum within their hearts.
How do we “find ourselves?” What we are really saying and wanting when we begin to look for ourselves is that we want to find the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). How do we find the desires of our hearts? Jesus tells us in John 7:37, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Jesus, is how we find ourselves. He will fulfill our heart’s desire. He will fill up the vacuum, the God shaped hole in our hearts. As Jesus says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will FIND IT.”
If you have been looking for yourself you don’t need to take a walkabout, you don’t need to take off on a survival trip into the wilderness, you don’t need to wander the world in search of your life; you don’t have to do any of those things. Because, you see, you just need Jesus!