In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
— John 1:1–5
I love the Gospel of John. Unlike the other three gospel writers, John wastes no time slow-playing the deity of Jesus. There it is in the very first sentence: Jesus is God! John spends the rest of his gospel exhorting his readers to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:31). What a beautiful message that we should preach to ourselves every day: Jesus is the Son of God, and we may have life in his name and his name alone.
I want to focus on verse 3:
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
— John 1:3
That includes you, and that includes me. Paul elaborates on this in his letter to the church at Colossae:
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
— Colossians 1:16
Jesus created all things by and for himself. That includes you, and that includes me. Therefore, John is making the argument that life is found in Jesus alone. Why? Because that’s what you were created for. Now, if that’s true (and it’s definitely true), then that should do wonders for us in helping us make sense of our angst. If I have been made by Jesus and for Jesus, then it makes sense why my job is not ultimately going to satisfy me, because I have not been made by my job, for my job. I was made by Jesus and for Jesus. As wonderful as my wife is, it makes sense why she will never be for me what I truly, deeply need. I wasn’t made for my wife, by my wife. I was made for Jesus, by Jesus. It makes sense why my two boys, as much as I delight in them, will never ultimately satisfy me, because I was not made for my kids, by my kids. I was made for Jesus, by Jesus, and it is ultimately in him and him alone that life is found. My job, my wife, and my kids are all good, right, and beautiful things, but it makes sense that putting all my weight behind these things leaves me wanting every time. I was made for Christ, by Christ and life is found there and there alone.
Augustine says it this way:
“You move us to delight in praising you, for you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
— Confessions, Saint Augustine of Hippo
What does Augustine mean by this? He’s talking about moving us out of praising these other, ancillary things. There’s nothing wrong or sinful about a heart that says, “Thank you God for this job, thank you God for this house, thank you God for this money, thank you God for this relationship.” All of these things are good, and right and beautiful. But something happens in the soul, because of Jesus, when we just say “thank you,” and we relinquish everything else. It’s why you see the disciples able to walk away rejoicing and singing the name of Jesus after getting the flesh beaten off their backs in Acts 5. What is that about?! It’s relinquishment. It’s “praise you for whatever.” You have me, I am yours, come what may, you are my King.
You were made for Jesus, by Jesus. Your job, spouse, kids, money or success weren’t meant to satisfy you, so be free of the angst you feel when they don’t satisfy. As we get ready to start a new series on marriage at c|Life, I think it’s important for all of us to remember that we weren’t meant to complete our spouses, we were made to go on this journey with one another, growing in a love for the beauty of Jesus Christ, who made us for himself. If we can ever get this and be serious about it, I think some of the lingering angst that we feel in our lives might start to evaporate over time, in Jesus’ name.