You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You. So said St. Augustine in the late fourth century. Yet, some 1600 years later, millions of people remain woefully, sometimes willfully, ignorant of that profound fact.
They seek to cram empty hearts with money, fame, funeverything but God. For that, they pay an enormous price. Suicide, mental disorders, depression, despair, and hopelessness all ensue from hollow and unsatisfied human hearts.
Strangely, many deny that He can fill that God-shaped vacuum in the human heart at a time when the very pillars of atheism are crumbling.
Dr. Robert Jastrow, one of the worlds great astronomers, wrote in his blockbuster book, God and the Astronomers, of strange developments in astronomy that have theological implications. One of those developments is the discovery that the universe had a beginning, an idea that does not sit well with some scientists.
The notion of a beginning is repugnant, English astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington said in the twentieth century. That, of course, is an emotional reaction to an intellectual conceptan expression of the heart, not necessarily the mind.
Still, modern science is returning to the idea of God. The scientist has scaled the mountains of ignorance, writes Jastrow. He is about to conquer the highest peak; and as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
Jastrow is not alone in this observation. Yale physicist and Nobel laureate Henry Margenau coedited Cosmos, Bios, Theos, a 1992 book which contains contributions from 60 notable scientists, including 24 Nobel Prize recipients. Margenau concludes in this book that the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient God is the only one convincing answer for natures extraordinary complexity and order.
The pillars of atheism are indeed crumbling. That does not necessarily mean that there are fewer atheists. It just means, as Dr. Norman Geisler has pointed out, that there is less reason for there to be any atheists at all.
Which brings us back to aching empty hearts. A number of years ago I watched on television a Star Trek movie with a fascinating plot. A rocket had been sent out into the solar system and disappeared for hundreds of years. Somehow, in this science fiction film, it collected numerous machines and computers and developed its own artificial intelligence. Then it headed back toward earth, striking terror throughout the entire planet. Would this enormously powerful smart machine destroy the world?
Well, of course, Captain Kirk is dispatched to save the day. When he encounters this gigantic machine and is able to communicate with it, he finds that what it wanted was not to destroy the world, but to know its creator! Not only that, it wanted to be joined to its creator.
I said, Wow, what a spiritual truth. That is what every human heart should desire above all elseto know God and to be united to Him. Is that the great desire of your heart, or is a machine smarter than you are? Its great desire was to know its creator and to be joined to him.
Dear friend, if that is not your desire, you are missing out. You are trying to stuff the emptiness of your heart with the mere baubles of this world. It is my prayer that you will, with Augustine and millions like him, discover true rest for your heart and mind by coming to know your Creatoras you place your faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
D. James Kennedy, Ph.D., is senior minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, and president of Coral Ridge Ministries, an international Christian broadcast outreach.