A young wife with a six-week-old infant once felt neglected by her spouse—alone and left out of his life. It seemed he was having all the fun—golfing, spending time with his brother and having a social life while she was left to care for their child. She confided her feelings of loneliness, neglect and unhappiness in him. His response was unexpected. He told her, “If you are trying to find happiness in me, you are going to be sadly mistaken. Your happiness must come from you!” This was not the response she expected and those words cut her to the core. How could a marriage of two years have descended to such a low level, that her chosen spouse would say such a thing?
I can’t remember my response at that time but I am sure it was not good. In retrospect, he was both right and wrong. He was correct in saying that one’s happiness cannot come from another individual. But he was incorrect in implying that the source of such happiness or joy can come from within one’s self.
My husband and I were both a part of the body of Christ, dedicated to learning proper and godly responses to life’s challenges. Unfortunately, that marriage ended in a tragic accident that left me a young widow with two small children. I subsequently remarried and my knowledge and understanding pertaining to relationships and finding fulfillment have continued to grow.
Over the years I have chewed over the gravity of the statement he made more than once. As a mature woman, I have realized the wisdom in it, despite the callous, cutting nature of it. To be told that I shouldn’t try to find happiness in another person was painful.
However, to ask another person to completely fulfill all of your needs is too much to request from a single person. In Hebrews 13:8 Paul states that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is always faithful and never puts His own needs first. We see that the Father loved us enough to sacrifice His only begotten Son, and that His Son, Jesus Christ, loved us enough to die in our place—to pay the penalty for our sins.
He is the one we should be running to first when we are in pain, sick, happy, sad, joyful and in all things. We are to love Him with our whole heart, mind, and soul; not in an attempt to repay a debt we cannot possibly repay, but rather as an expression of the gratitude we feel for the gift He has given. He cares about all the little things as well as the big things in our lives and He wants to hear from us. Nehemiah 8:10 says, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” When we go to Him, we can become joyful because He gives us strength.
There are times when you have what my present husband and I describe as “the can’t help its!” There is something inside you that makes you long for more than you have right now—a restlessness, an inability to feel satisfied with where you are and what you have. That feeling can lead down a wrong path of not seeking God, ungratefulness and turning to material things. It is broadcast into our minds straight from Satan. When I have that restlessness, I realize the remedy is to seek God’s comfort. That unfulfilled, inner longing represents a need to pray and to study His Word, to develop my relationship with Him and to ask Him to help me protect my mind. He wants us to run to Him for fulfillment as a defense against the inner restlessness that this world gives and the dissatisfaction with the life it generates.
When we run to a person for complete happiness and contentment, it automatically sets us (or them) up for failure. As flawed humans, we let others down—we forget to fulfill our promises, we do not have the energy to do something someone else wants us to do. We are human, but God knows exactly how to fulfill us emotionally when we turn to Him.
My young husband could have been kinder in his response all those years ago. But there eventually came a poignant moment when I realized that the statement was true—another human can never be all that the God of the universe can be to us. God is our best friend, a friend that sticks closer than a brother or sister!
So what do we do with all of our sad, happy, depressed, angry and unsettled moments?
What would our lives look like if we turned to God to fulfill all of our needs instead of to things in this world?
Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (KJV). All things in life that are beneficial, all the refining we need to make it into God’s Kingdom, all the emotional help we need is present with our God.
Look inside yourself—is He your all in all? Do you love Him with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength? Are you turning to Him first? Do we truly believe His promises? Sometimes we all forget to run to God first—but we must continue to learn to do that daily.
How much better are our lives lived when we are seeking Him first, running to Him with our joy, our happiness, our sorrow and pain? How it must please God that we want to spend time with Him, seeking His instruction! Psalm 34:8 states, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts Him” (KJV)! People who love God’s way, follow the path of Christ and do the will of the Father have blessings and the fulfillment they seek—from Him.
The problem we have is that we become easily entangled with the ways of the world. We tend toward the temporal things that do not make us happy or we try to find happiness in the wrong places. During this physical life we must find the fulfillment we seek in the relationship that is formed in us with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
King David expressed perfectly what we should do in Psalms 62:5, “My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him” (KJV). In this world there are many places we exclusively run to for comfort and solace instead our mighty God. In fact, He in His wisdom has allowed an empty place in our hearts that only He can fill. God is the only One we can run to and never be disappointed.
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (KJV). The writer of Hebrews reminds us of all those who have traveled this path before us and are awaiting His return for their reward. Let’s lay aside the sin and the weight it causes to our spirit and life. Let us run this race to God, taking all of our care before His throne. He is our fulfillment!