I took a nostalgic road trip last week. I had driven my two youngest boys to youth camp near Frazier Park in Southern California and decided to take a couple of hours and drive to Bakersfield to see the house we lived in back in 1994-1995. It was only a 7 month period of our life but it was perhaps the most profound because of a deep restorative work that took place in our lives during that time.
We had just endured a painful time in our ministry life and there were some deep personal issues I was dealing with as well. But something happened when we lived in that little two bedroom, 900 square foot house that drove us to God and vividly demonstrated His faithfulness to us. To this day, it’s my favorite house, not because of its outer beauty or elegance, but because of what it represents.
Something in me always wondered “what if we had stayed there in Bakersfield instead of moving back to PHX in 1995?” All of us have those “what if” moments, but here’s what God spoke to me as I drove south on Hwy 99 back to camp. “That was a time in your life when you sought me diligently with all your heart and soul. You had no money, a 16 month old son, a baby on the way and you had to trust me for everything.”
There was something in my soul in those days that was driving me to search for God. Truth is, that’s what the soul was made to do.
It thirsts for Him.
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You… (Psalms 63:1 NKJV)
It thirsts for him like the Arizona desert cries for water
I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. (Psalms 143:6 NKJV)
With unparalleled focus, it puts all of its desires on Him.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. (Psalms 33:20 NKJV)
It lifts itself up to Him
To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
(Psalms 25:1 NKJV)
It Blesses Him
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
(Psalms 103:1-2 NKJV)
It clings to Him
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. (Psalms 63:8 NASB)
It waits for Him in silence.
My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. (Psalms 62:1 NASB)
The soul can only really find its life in God . I love this quote:
“My mind may be obsessed with idols, my will may be enslaved to habits, and my body may be consumed with appetites. But my soul will never find rest until it rests in God” (John Ortberg)
That which inside you longing for fulfillment and satisfaction is your soul crying out for God. What are you going to do with it? Will you continue to try and fill it up with things that weren’t made to fill it, or will go hard after the one who breathed into you and made you a living soul?
For me, I can only pray that I will continue to trust God and pursue Him the way I did on South ‘J’ Street in Bakersfield. I don’t want to lose it.