Lately, I have wrestled with questions. Questions about God and my faith. Questions I’ve never wrestled with before or haven’t given a second thought toward. The main question I keep asking is, “How are you sufficient, God? How are you enough in all things and in all ways?” I know that He is, but as life continues to hand me and others I love heartbreak, struggle, and suffering, I’ve found myself desperate to know exactly how He is enough.

This isn’t the typical apologetic question about whether God exists or how we can have reasonable confidence in the faith we profess. I believe in God and have never struggled with this belief. I grew up in a Christian home and have always accepted that God is real—that Jesus is the Son of God who died for my sins, and that in Him only can I be at peace. I can understand the “who”, the “what”, the “when”, the “where”, and the “why”… but the “how”… How does God satisfy every longing in my soul? How is the gospel the answer to all my questions? How does my soul find rest in God? How is every desire I have satisfied in Christ alone? 

With life circumstances and my sin tendencies and the brokenness of the world, I admit that lately I have wondered if I can ever be truly satisfied. Will my soul ever truly be at peace? 

These questions have kept me up at night. I’ve felt like a fraud when talking to others about God and our faith because of these questions. And to be honest, I’ve dealt with some spiritual insecurity, especially because of my vocation. I wondered if it was something that other people “just get.” And so instead of being complacent, I decided to dig deep. To search high and low to figure out what part of this puzzle God was leading me to find. 

Through God’s grace, I think I’ve found my answer. 

In my final (hallelujah!) class of seminary, we are currently going through the first 5 books of the Bible. In a lecture on Genesis chapters 1-3, my professor made a very brief statement that answered my weeks of questioning. He said, “Eden (as in the Garden of Eden) means pleasure.” 

At that moment, everything clicked. 

My questions about how to be truly satisfied in this life, about how to find peace and rest amongst the chaos of our world… these questions were not wrong or silly. But my focus was too narrow. I was looking at my present circumstance, my present surroundings, my present condition of the heart. Instead, I should have been looking back to the past. Back through the story of Scripture. Back through God’s constant pursuit of His people, regardless of their disobedience. 

Back to Eden. 

It’s through this recognition that things are not as they should be, and never will be, that we are able to be at peace right now. As we take a look back through time, we are able to see God’s provision. As we zoom out and focus less on our present condition, we’re able to see that God really is making all things new. As we center more on truth and less on our feelings, we’re able to see that yes, in this world, we will have trouble… but we can take heart because Christ has overcome the world. 

My desire for peace and satisfaction in this world was a form of idolatry. Instead of trusting that even when I don’t understand “how”, God is still working. I sought for things of this world to fulfill me. Sometimes the answers we’re looking for aren’t found in the right here, right now. Sometimes God wants us to see what He’s done in the past to trust what He’ll do in the future. 

Things are not as they should be because this is not our home. 

At first, I didn’t like this answer. I’ve heard this said over and over again in my lifetime. It’s always felt like a cop-out to me. However, in my current season of life this is what I needed to be reminded of. 

How does God satisfy me today? How can I find peace today? The answer is hope. The hope of what I will ultimately experience in the future. I can be satisfied today because I am in Christ, I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and I eagerly await an inheritance, a reward, a satisfaction that can only come from the pleasure of being in the presence of God. 

This is the story of our faith, isn’t it? God created the world. It was good. He placed us in a paradise of pleasure (Eden) so that we could be satisfied completely in Him. We decided to go look for goodness and pleasure elsewhere (sin). But God, in His providence, sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our pleasure-seeking so that once again we would be reunited with the One our soul longs for most. 

This is the Gospel. And it’s in the Gospel that I find my peace today. Knowing that one day, I will be at complete rest with Him again. 

The “how” really doesn’t matter so much to me anymore. The “who”… Jesus… He’s truly the answer to everything. 

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