Lately, I’ve been feeling a little bit empty – and for a while I didn’t know why: I mean, I have everything and more than I could ever ask for.
And then it dawned on me: I’ve been feeling like David did when he penned “as a deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs after You, God”; I’ve been longing for more of God and less of me – I’ve been trying to fill a spiritual void with material things that can never replace Him.
I write along with A. W. Tozer, who, in his book The Pursuit of God, wrote: “To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”
Juxtaposed to the common ideas of a godless existence, the notion of a higher being of ultimate love might seem preposterous – and yet, there is in my soul, a perpetual longing towards something bigger than myself. I was created for more than simply existing; my heart burns within me with a fire ignited by love so incomprehensible, that I can feel its presence, even when I deny its existence.
The thing about God’s love is that it isn’t dependent on us – that’s a pretty extravagant statement for our finite minds to comprehend, so let me say it another way: the God of the universe desperately loves us, regardless of our actions, or even our belief in His existence. It’s a one-sided love; it doesn’t need reciprocation.
I am convinced that no earthly thing can stand against me: not death, or life, or angels, or demons, or things present, or future events – not any sort of power, or any height, or depth, or anything created, can pluck me out of the eternal hand that holds me; because I have been bought with a price that only the love of God can afford.
In todays world of an any-thing-goes, lets-all-live-happily-ever-after spiritual mentality, my beliefs might be scoffed at as old-fashioned, out-dated and bigoted; but the conclusions I have reached are not by choice – I can’t claim my convictions as my own. Trust me: I have tried on different hats; I’ve explored other beliefs, and through all of my searching, there has been a quiet and constant reassuring in my heart, that I am loved by God and always will be.
Thus, my staunch faith is not the result of my own volition; it has been instilled within me from an outside source – and no matter how far away I run, spiritually speaking, I will never be able to outrun His love.
So count me in with the children of the burning heart: I want to fall in deeper than I’ve ever been – into the presence of Him who inexplicably loves mankind, even in the face of unreposed spite.
Andy Christian Castillo is the Founder of Ver・ism(s). He is a military veteran and student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, pursuing a degree in English. In his free time, he plays music, writes poetry, gallivants around the world, climbs mountains and runs through the pouring rain.