There’s a song we sing in church called “All That Thrills My Soul.” The refrain: “All that thrills my soul is Jesus, He is more than life to me, And the fairest of ten thousand In my blessed Lord I see.”
I have a confession: Jesus is not all that thrills my soul.
Many other things thrill me every day. Guacamole; burgundy ribbon; a rainy day; autumn leaves; classical music. My family could tell you that few things make me giddy faster than the poetry of Ogden Nash. His powers of humorous, profound verse leave me speechless. I am transported into bliss by cinnamon and cloves, candlelight and hardwood floors, books that keep me awake till three, playing volleyball with friends, and composing a poem. A glimpse of peeling paint or rusty brick can take my breath away; as can the scratchy comfort of Mexican blankets and the perfect setting for a photoshoot. I can also be thrilled by the sight of Old Glory billowing in the breeze; a wall of waves roaring toward a beach; a shelf of books; a cowboy hat.
All these things and more fill life with poignant moments of delight. But they are all temporary. Transient. Fleeting. I cannot keep them around me every moment of every day, to ensure that I will be happy. The only Thing that I can always carry with me is the One Who created these things that thrill me so. Jesus is always with me because when I received Him as my Savior, God sent the Spirit of His Son into me to dwell forever and never leave.
Possessing Jesus is like possessing a water bottle that never empties. John 4: 13-14 says “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Who needs water from any other venue when you have the ultimate source?
Jesus is God. God is perfect. God is holy. The thrill of His presence in our spirits is pure and right and fulfilling; the pleasures of sin cannot compare to the river of pleasures God provides for His children. Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 14:13 “Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.” Tangible enjoyments, thrills we find for ourselves, all have an end, and often leave regret or disappointed expectations. God is a Spirit, invisible; He never had a beginning, and He will never have an ending. Serving Him leaves no regrets.
God created us to be thrilled by the amazing universe He made; but more importantly, to be thrilled by knowing God Himself. What moves Christian martyrs to stand for their faith while everything they have loved and worked for, every object of comfort and shred of human dignity, is destroyed? What moves you to stand for Christ? If you follow God for what He gives you, you will stop following Him when those things are lost. If you follow God because of Who He is, you will continue, because He does not change and He cannot be taken away from you.
Jesus is not the only thing that thrills my soul. But when those other things fail or flee, Jesus is enough. He is all the thrill I need. Psalm 17:15 “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”