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Exploring the Human Heart’s Longing for the Eternal

Updated: Jun 15

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Do you ever find yourself surprised by how fast time flies by? I certainly do. We wake up, we work or run errands, we eat, we sleep. Then we “rinse and repeat.” Our lives consist of seemingly endless days of routine. Occasionally, during a moment of reflection, we realize just how fast time is slipping through our fingers. We find a sudden longing for something more than the everyday. We realize that we want to have a deeper and more meaningful existence. We want something beyond the mundane.


Psalms 139:16 says that God knew the number of our days from the beginning.  You and I are inextricably bound by the limitations of a personal life span that we do not know and by the natural rhythms of our somewhat fragile life on this earth. None of us can escape our humanity.


Solomon, with all of the wisdom given to him by God, concluded that human life has unavoidable seasons and rhythms. In his poetic opening to Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, he juxtaposes various elements of human existence like birth and death, planting and harvesting, weeping, and laughing. This list of paradoxical human experiences and emotions written in this rhythmical way, suggests that Solomon understood the the pain and the joy of being human.


He also understood God’s providence over all aspects of this ebb and flow of human existence. The rhythms of our lives are under the sovereign control of our creator who sees the “whole picture” in a way we cannot fully grasp. With all our attempts to understand through philosophy, scientific study, and even theology, we do not see what God sees.  


We walk through life, experiencing both hope and sorrow. We journey through these ever-changing fleeting seasons of life, pausing periodically to ask “Why?” “What does it all mean?” As Solomon says in verse 9, “What has a worker to gain from his toil?” We wonder why this reality, this existence feels so inadequate.


Being human means that routines and cycles are unavoidable. So too are the many challenges we will face as we walk through our lives. Bound within time, the inevitable issues of today quickly demand the attention of our hearts and minds. But something deep inside us yearns for something beyond the incomplete “now.” Our soul’s silent cry is that there is something more.


The innate human need to ask “Why” or “What’s the point” is evidence of the divine imprint of God upon the human soul. The desire to understand what lies beyond the mundane, the status quo, or the unpredictable cycles of pleasure and tragedy set us on a path of exploration. Whether we know it or not, we are all instinctively on a quest to discover truth and purpose.


In verse 11 of Ecclesiastes, Solomon says this: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” God has written a story. He already knows the story from beginning to end. The journey we are all on as a part of that story is incomplete. But perhaps our heart cry for “more,” our desire to find truth and purpose, is an invitation for each of us to participate in God’s eternal Kingdom narrative.


God promises us this in Jeremiah 29:13. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.“ God created us to have open, searching hearts. He invites us to a life-long journey of seeking His truth. He never fails to answer, giving us just what we need the moment we need it. We can never stop seeking the next answer.


As we live with God’s immutable truth and purpose as the underlying driver of our life journey, we will find He continually draws us into a life of trust in Him. As our reliance upon God grows, we will slowly experience a paradigm shift. Our perspective changes. Our desires change.


The purpose our hearts long for is found in a trust-filled relationship with our heavenly Father. Meaning is found as we live a life in service of God’s purpose for us and in surrender to the work for which He created us. Joy is found when we see how our faithfulness to His purposes becomes a beautiful thread in His eternal tapestry, a paragraph in the story of His redemption of mankind.


The next time you feel lost in the grunge of routine or are struggling to cope with the unpredictability of life, remember that God has created you for “more.” He created with a longing for eternity, and a need to find your place in the grand story of mankind. We cannot fully see the beginning to the end. But the call to seek His truth and surrender to His purposes is the only answer to the human heart's longing for the eternal and brings the only true peace we will find on this earth.

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