It’s funny how content we get, followed closely by discontent mixed with envy. We think it’s just life. The ups and downs. Shiny new things turn old and rusted. Everything falls apart. We get used to it. We grow up, older and wiser, thinking that we conquer our longings for bigger and better by being more mature.
Should we? Is it more mature to not long for anything?
What do you long for?
When I’m being honest, I want this life. Especially the past five years. The man. The kids. The beginnings of a fulfilled longing. A longing I had ignored or quenched in other ways, sometimes destructive, but never fully. And they still aren’t fully satisfied, and I imagine some day I’ll feel that “I want more-ness” than I do now. Right now, I love it. Right now it has its ups and downs, but the ups far outweigh the downs. We don’t long for the new heaven when the current earth feels more up than down. Somewhere along the line, we stopped longing for something bigger and better.
Truthfully, we don’t always long for Jesus. We don’t really long for God the almighty. We long for parts of Him. We long for the nice stuff. We long for comfort and joy. We long for peace. We long for the good life. But didn’t Jesus say if you follow me, you will find troubles? If you want Me, you get ALL of Me, and that includes a taste of my sufferings, a measure of my sorrow, a fraction of my broken heart. Why? Because when we get Jesus, we see the sin, the anti-Jesus, if you will. We get to feel that weight when we take on Jesus, when we take up our crosses. And it’s too much to bear, isn’t it? So maybe we make our longings more shallow so we know how to fill them. We lower our expectations so that we stop being so disappointed. We get tired of the sinfulness that corrupted or misplaced longings produce and magnify. We get bogged down by the depravity in every heart, the willingness to entertain evil, the reality of choices we make that cannot end well, but we attempt to make it go well anyway. The futility wears us down. We chase things that will make us happy, for a time, even knowing they won’t last, but we still want them and we want to just see if these things will beat the odds.
They never do. They never will. And that’s ok. It really is. Because longing tells us we’re not done yet. Longing pushes us. Longing keeps us from being complacent and lazy. We all need rest, but we don’t get it just any where. What I’ve come to discover is we only get true rest and peace when we allow Jesus himself to release us, when we find our longings pointing us to what He is and what He has done – something so big and beautiful, the very thought of it is enough to carry us so very far. Jesus, the very thought of Thee… and Joy of every longing heart.
If this life satisfies, if you find things that keep you, things that you want and get, thank God, but know somewhere in your deepest parts that we’re made for more. So much more beauty. So much more love. So much more warmth and comfort. Whatever satisfies you now is a small glimpse of what is to come. When all sorrows cease, all sad comes untrue. It seems unreal. Because it is. For now. But it’s getting “realer” all the time…