Living in Tension – Satisfied/Dissatisfied

Sometimes it can be difficult living in the centre of what appears to be a contradiction or at least a very tight tension.

But I feel like as Christians we cannot avoid that tension. We have to make peace with it – in more than one way.

Today I’m ruminating about what it is to feel fully satisfied and filled with longing at the same time.

Because there is a rumbling discontent within in me – the discontent of not being there yet, of observing the depths of my brokenness and feeling overcome by the broken falleness of the world and its inhabitants. I long for more – to reach further, jump higher (metaphorically speaking obviously!), go deeper, be more. I live with this dissatisfaction like a scratchy jumper that feels too tight at the collar and too short in the arms. Ever present.

Biblical writers use terms like – the whole of creation is groaning and subject to frustration, knowing I have not yet fully attained I press on, what a wretched man am I…perplexed, hard-pressed…

But deeper than that I am satisfied, so satisfied. There is a vein of contentment that runs like gold deep through the bedrock of my life. That vein that holds peace when the jumper itches. Because the One is enough and in Him I am enough. What I have or do not have, in the midst of the storm, as I pass through the fire. All of it is surface, because at the deepest level I am found in Him.

phil 4

Even typing the words I understand how they don’t make sense that I can be so filled with longing while at the same time deeply contented – but that is the centre of the tension that holds me.

We use this term in churches sometimes about the ‘now but not yet‘ kingdom. Like a black sheet stretched out in front of a powerful light. There are pinpricks and sometimes even tears in the sheet that let in the light. We know the light is there, we know there is more to it than we experience now, we have these glimpses and experiences of that light that change everything, and we know that one day we will experience all of it.

Now we see in a mirror dimly but then we shall know fully, even as we are fully known.



It’s okay to live with tension. It’s okay to wonder and question and not understand and grasp but then lose we are no worse than those who have gone before and when all else fails I fall to the profound but confusing words of  the father who says to Jesus – I do believe, help me with my unbelief.

Whatever tension you find yourself in today may you discover beneath the surface a deeper contentment that cannot be snatched away. xx


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