THE NATURE OF LONGING
Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life! Psalm 119:40
What creates longing? There is a void and I experience it in three ways.
- I once had something of great value but it was taken away from me. I long to have it back.
- I’ve never had it and I know it is critical for my existence. I’ve spent a lifetime longing for it.
- I only have a little bit of it, it’s precious to me, and I long for more.
For the first forty years of my life, I didn’t long for God’s precepts. In all honesty, I couldn’t relate to David’s words at all. Longing was absent. Mild interest in God’s precepts was more my reality. Now, I experience great longing – a longing marked by hunger and preoccupation. What changed? One thing. It was ‘need’.
I became aware of the many voids in my heart and began to understand that God’s Words were the only thing that would fill them. As dull ache grew to a throbbing pain, longing increased. Jesus was everything I had been looking for. He was healer, deliverer, advocate, comforter, guide, and even the home my heart had been seeking.
When I was very young, I was deprived of something every child needs. The refusal was staggering and to cope with it, I constructed my life in such a way as to deny I ever really needed what was denied me. I closed the door to the possibility of ever getting it. In my forties, I assessed the damage and realized I was shut down. I was numb to spiritual things, feeling nothing for even God. Only as I opened the door to the pain of that memory was God able to show me that He was everything I needed ~ then, and now.
Take this experience, multiply it many hundreds of times, and you end up with a woman who is passionate about Jesus. I have tasted His love in the many voids of my life and I give Him rave reviews. I have come to Him thirsty and am now swimming in living water. I have come to Him with a parched, cracked internal landscape and now live in a lush vista of the greenest of springtimes. I know His precepts and I declare that they are life-saving, life-giving. My heart is filled with longing for more. The best news is this ~ there is more. Much more. When longing comes to the table, there is a feast waiting.
My heart extends out to You like a young lover who looks on the horizon for the arrival of her soul mate. It longs for everything You are. Amen