My Great Grandfather use to say, “As a rule a man’s a fool; when it’s hot he wants it cool and when it’s cool he wants it hot, never satisfied with what he’s got.” A catchy way of describing the pervasive malady of “destination sickness.”
We are routinely dissatisfied with where we are, who we are, what we have, what we are doing, and where we are going.
We want the latest, the greatest, the fastest, the newest, the biggest, and the fanciest.
We obtain or achieve what we have been striving for only to realize that we are still unfulfilled and we want more. A newer car, getting married, a promotion at work, completing our education, a sculpted body, and/or owning the hottest new video game, all leave us with a sense of lacking. We believe that the answer is something “more.”
What is the cause and cure of our condition?
Saint Augustine of Hippo got it right when he said, “…our heart is restless until it rests in You.” God made us to be in relationship with Himself, but because we are sinners by nature and by choice we are separated from Him and not at rest. “But your sins have made a separation between you and your God…” (Isaiah 59:2a)
The cause of destination sickness is our rebellious hearts seeking satisfaction in our own strength and on our own terms apart from God.
We look everywhere but to the only place that provides the cure. Jesus declares, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Mat. 11:28). The apostle Paul declares, “…in Him (Christ Jesus) you have been made complete/full” (Col. 2:10a). Only in relationship with God through personal faith in Christ were the folks at the church in Colossae complete/fulfilled/satisfied.
That is true for us as well. If sin separates then something or someone must reunite. Jesus Christ is the someone. Through Christ, God the Father “reconciled all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross…” Christ’s death satisfied God’s wrath against sin for all who believe so that they are “reconciled” to God. We find our rest in God through personal trust in His Son to save us from the power and penalty of our sin.
Those who rest in the Lord through faith in the Son are not exempt from the symptoms of destination sickness but the prognosis is no longer terminal. They are moving closer in their experience to what the Psalmist expressed: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You I desire nothing on earth.”