searching: the eternal quest for meaning and significance

“When God has become our shepherd, our refuge, our fortress, then we can reach out to him in the midst of a broken world and feel at home while still on our way.” — Henri Nouwen, from Reaching Out in You Are the Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritual Living


Your soul yearns
as you search
for an opening of sorts,
a place to belong
a haven on earth
where you can finally soar.

There are moments
when you forget yourself
because you’re too caught up
in the act
of survival alone,
in simply staying the course.

And there are times
when you wish the earth
would swallow you whole,
like Jonah, gulped down
quick in the belly of a whale
before he was vomited out.

Then you could disappear
with no thought
about making a mark,
getting noticed, perhaps,
a tiny dent to suggest
you were here, you exist.

But if you stop and pause
you might reflect
that you are seen, you are heard
and you are known
by others—you are loved
and infinitely precious to God.

And you can remind
yourself on the greyest of days
that the sun won’t forget
to rise and shine again,
and bathe you in its golden rays
even if it’s pouring with rain.

Each small, positive thought
counts because it builds
on the rest,
as it gathers momentum
and swells its support
like a warm hug in your chest.
© joylenton

searching poem excerpt (C) joylenton - landscape - sky

May you remember, my friend, that you are not as alone as you might sometimes feel while journeying through life, because fellow travellers walk beside you and God companions you too.

We also have the joy of belonging to the family of God through adoption by faith in Jesus Christ, who is the beginning and end, the Alpha and Omega of all things, including all our seeking and searching.

“True joy is hidden where we are the same as other people: fragile and mortal. It is the joy of belonging to the human race. It is the joy of being with others as a friend, a companion, a fellow traveler. This is the joy of Jesus, who is Emmanuel: God-with-us.” — Henri Nouwen, Daily E-Meditation from Henri Nouwen Society

In his poem ‘Little Gidding’, T.S. Eliot says that we shall not cease our exploring until we “arrive where we started, and… know the place for the first time.” May that thought encourage your heart in all your searching and finding. ❤

6 thoughts on “searching: the eternal quest for meaning and significance

  1. Oh what a gift all of this was to me today, Joy. Your poem is so beautiful and encouraging, and the TS Eliot one so good also: connecting with my reading in Revelations (crystal clear river from God’s throne) and the Psalms (fountains) today. Thank you for sharing your heart and bringing comfort to our hearts through God’s Word in you.

    • Oh thank you, Anna, for letting me know how timely these words are for you! I’m so glad you were blessed here today and that God used this post to confirm words you had already received. I love it when that happens! Blessings and love to you, dear friend. xo 😊💜

  2. Dear Joy,
    I love these words today–such heart-lifting words. Those quotes by Henri Nouwen are so good. Truly He is the God-with-us-Emmanuel, and with each one of us as we share too. So many treasures here to sift through. But this stanza speaks so deeply to the longings in my heart:

    Your soul yearns
    as you search
    for an opening of sorts,
    a place to belong
    a haven on earth
    where you can finally soar.

    You have captured that longing to soar above the clouds, and the image fits so well also. Lord, Jesus, lift my eyes and heart to see that I am already soaring WITH You there. Thank you for this encouragement today, dear friend. Love, blessings, and hugs to you! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, Henri Nouwen’s book ‘You Are the Beloved’ is one of my bedtime devotionals this year. It was on my wish list for Christmas and I’m grateful to have been given it as a gift. He has such wisdom to impart. Treasure indeed! As is T.S Eliot’s poetry. You are definitely seeing that WITH-ness of Jesus surrounding you and bringing you comfort in the hard.
      Soul yearnings sit within each one of us, but basic ones we all share include the longing to be loved, accepted, safe, and feel at home somewhere. God’s promises reassure us of the depth of His acceptance and love. And we have a place secured in heaven with Him, an eternal Home far greater than any we have known before. Amen to your prayer! How marvellous to see ourselves already soaring freely with Him there, like eagles flying close to the sun. Blessings, love and hugs to you! xoxo 💜

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