From the beginning of our time outside the Garden of Eden, we have been a restless people. Restless to find a place where our belly’s will be full, our hearts fulfilled, and our minds at peace. Deep at the root of all the things man does, this is his quest . However, a cunning craftsman also knows this, and he spends countless hours painting a mirage for each of us. One that when you look at it, what we see is our hopes and dreams staring right back at us, almost a perfect reflection. A reflection that seems reality. And so we, seeing this mirage, being to walk towards it. Our journey starts small and has humble beginnings and pure intentions, but as we continue our journey though, we soon become hungry and thirsty. In our increasing thirst and hunger our minds begin to play tricks on us, and our eyes catch little oasis’s as we travel towards our mirage. Though we once knew these oasis’s were not our destination, in our hunger and thirst it is not so clear now. Soon we begin to believe these oasis’s are indeed the destination we were looking for! So we arrive at one, usually the closest available. The fruit taste so good when we get there, and the water so refreshing! However, the thing about these oasis’s is that the fruit is sweet but soon gone, and the water crisp but dries up quickly. What we once thought was our final destination, is now desolate and barren, and provides neither sweetness or refreshment. And as this oasis withers away, not able to sustain life, our eyes begin looking outward. Once again instead of looking back, we find ourselves looking forward towards the mirage. A mirage that is displayed in thin air, yet looks as real and nearer than before. So we set out again, knowing that once we get to this place we will finally be able to live life contently, having all that we need from its great resources, and never worry again. Our journey is smooth and the pace is quick at first, until we begin to thirst and hunger. Eventually our hunger and thirst is enough that our flesh begins to deceive us again. We begin to see oasis’s near our path, that start to look more and more like our mirage. In fact, it seems nearly just like it, enough so in our bewildered minds to stop in. The fruit is sweet and the water so refreshing! It’s hard to remember it tasting as good as this before. Perhaps this is the place we’ve been looking for! So we are confident in our decision, and decide to stay. We are merry and full of the sweet fruit and the crisp water, but again soon, these too are gone. We are left with a barren oasis that now has had its fruit exhausted and water quenched. To survive our eyes begin to move again, outwards, once more looking for a place that will finally sustain our life, give us plenty that will last, and be content forever. We see the mirage cleverly constructed again and know it is real. Setting off on our journey towards mirage over and over again, we have good intentions of reaching that place each time. And each time, we find ourselves in an oasis, sure that we have reached the place. Only to learn later that we were fooled when it withers and dries up.
At some point, each of us, at our own time looks back at our path. What we see is path of destruction. A chain of once thriving oasis’s with fruit and water, now desolate, dry, and empty. The only fruit left from our visits is pain, suffering, and regret. Some of us look back early on and only see one oasis destroyed. Others see 50, a 100, or even 1000′s before they look back. When we do take the time to look back, we are usually startled to see Jesus there, following right behind us the whole time with persistence, calling after us patiently, waiting for us to look at Him. Waiting for us to stop leading our journey, but to instead follow Him to a place He has prepared ahead of time for us. This place is not a mirage, but the very place we’ve been looking for our whole lives!
No one has ever found this place without Jesus. It’s not our lack of skill, or physical stamina that is the problem. It’s not because we set out aimlessly or without supplies. It’s because our sin has separated us from this place long ago. It can’t be found by our own searching, efforts, or plans, but only through Jesus Christ and following Him.
Every person on Earth has this same yearning to find this place. It’s rooted in our deepest parts. It’s something we can’t ignore or over look or tame. We strive for it always, and it is universal. How could everyone ever created, have this same yearning and strive for the same thing? How could this be? Because God created us and created us to be in His presence, so it is our natural setting. We were created to be with God, not apart, and in Him we are only fulfilled and at peace. Since through our sin we have been separated from God, we are truly missing this piece of us until He returns in our lives through Jesus Christ. Are you searching for a place that doesn’t exist apart from God? Many of us are, and will, and could be forever… Don’t search forever when Jesus knows the way.