We are all looking for something. Our hearts crave it. Our souls were made for it. Our very being longs for it. And so, we search and search to find the very thing that will satisfy the yearning inside. What is it that we long for? We’re not quite sure, but we know it’s there, and it’s driving us forward in search of that elusive thing that will fulfill our longings.
We go throughout our lives trying to find that which will bring us happiness, love, peace, satisfaction and contentment. We search for things that will make us feel approved, worthy, and accepted. We look for it in relationships with friends or lovers. We look for it in our jobs, our volunteerism, our time and service given. We look for it in recreation, in possessions, in talents, in a bigger house, prestigious titles, the right set of friends, cars, clothes, kids. We search for it in the approval, recognition, or plaudits of others. We fill our lives and our calendars full, hoping that will be the answer. Busy, busy lives. Do more. Accomplish more. Surely that will fill us to the full. Surely it will satiate the deep hunger within. The growling monster in our bellies.
There are many scriptures that address the lust of worldly things, which we use to fill those longings. Matthew 16:26 says, “And how do you benefit if you gain the world but lost your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
The love of this world and the eager pursuit of it drowns the soul in destruction and strips it of every good thing God intended for it.
Perhaps you want to press pause here for a second because you realize you have done all these things. Are doing all these things. There’s a longing for something that’s just out of reach, so you grab whatever comes by next, whatever is available next, hoping that is the thing that finally satisfies you. But you lay your head down at night still hungry. Still yearning. Still craving. How do I know? I’ve done it too. It’s what we do. How we were made, so that we will find what we were made for… that we might be moved to apprehend it.
So then, what is at the core of what we crave? If we were made to long for this, there must be an answer outside of all this busy work, posturing, and material accumulation.
The answer is that God put this “holy crave” within us. But what we come to realize is that He is these things that we crave and so He is what we should apprehend.
An eager pursuit of God results in love, peace, joy, freedom, significance, and value - the very things we are chasing after. Galatians 5:22 says that the fruit, or the result of having the Spirit of God working within you is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is what God intended us to move toward and apprehend, not the things of this world that prove counterfeit. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You shall seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Seek and apprehend God above all things. He will satisfy your every longing of love, approval, acceptance, peace, and freedom.
But you might say, “Tricia, the things that I long for can never be replaced. They’re gone.” Maybe that’s a person, or a dream, or other longings unfulfilled. Perhaps some of your deepest desires are wrapped up in lost things. Yes, I understand that…all too well.
Let me share a story with you.
For the five years full of chronic pain leading up to my husband’s death, there were many things that got put on the back burner: vacations, date nights. Even light banter and joyful laughter were a rarity in our relationship. There wasn’t an area in our lives that that pain did not affect. I lived with not only his pain, but my own pain of great disappointments and unfulfilled longings.
Somewhere in that stretch of time I went to a Christian conference and I heard a pastor say, “I believe that every pain and hurt we experience in this life is designed to make us long for something this world can’t satisfy; to make us long for the beauty and perfection of a heavenly eternity with Jesus.” I had to meditate on that for a good long while. This was definitely before my husband’s death, so I was right in the throes of feeling a craving for so much more in my life and having everything just out of reach. But I knew I had no power to make anything change. The longings were either going to be there, unfulfilled, or they weren’t. And, like I said earlier, we were made, as human beings, with a crave for love, peace, purpose, fulfillment, and so much more. So, even though I would much rather those longing not be there at all - so that they didn’t torture me so much - I knew I was going to have to figure out another way to have them satisfied.
So, I brought my needs before the Lord. King David gave me an example prayer in Psalm 38:9 “O Lord, all my longings are before You; my sighing is not hidden from You.” So, I literally said, “Father, here they are…all the things my heart craves. All things that make me heavy sigh. I need you to either remove these longings within me so that they no longer cross my mind or fulfill them.”
And every time, in His graciousness, He would put a sense of ease (dare I say, even joy?) within me so that those things didn’t cripple me. He made everything “okay.” Satisfied.
And when something would creep back up later, which it usually did, I’d just lay it before the Lord again and ask the same thing, “remove it or fulfill it.” He was always faithful to care for me.
Today, I deal with the same kinds of things. But this time, because there’s no possible way my previous dreams and longings with my husband can be satisfied, I grapple with different things. The longings of my heart, the things that I yearn for, have to be satisfied in my relationship with Jesus. No other option. The peace that I have in my home, the ability to laugh truly from the belly, the joy that I have that is deep seeded, the ability to know that I’m okay just where I’m at - all of this is found in Him. There’s a scripture in Ecclesiastes 5. I’ve changed the pronouns to make it more personal to me, but verse 5 reads: For she will not much remember the days of her life because the Lord keeps her occupied with joy in her heart.” This promise has proved true in my life. The disappointments of longings unfulfilled are not much remembered because what my entire being has craved from the beginning has been satisfied with the joy of the Lord.
So, friend, if you find yourself in a similar place, you might be saying, “Now, what to do? Where to look for the satisfaction of this thing I so long for?”
What I’ve discovered, it’s not in the ‘doing’ but in the ‘being’. Simply. When you say “yes” to the love-gift Jesus offers, it’s there you find being loved by Him is exactly what you’ve been searching for, craving. When you add nothing to that, you find the fullness of who you are. And that is simply enough. But it’s not a ‘little’ enough, it’s a big ENOUGH! It’s a fullness, a completeness, a satisfaction like you’ve never experienced before. And, friend, it’s exactly what you were made for.