I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but there are times when I long for something so badly I ache. Oftentimes we look to satisfy our longing in unhealthy ways.
A PHYSICAL LONGING (warning: this part will be a little PG-13)
I’ve been married to my husband for almost 20 years. I’ll admit there are times our sex life has been ‘steamier’ than others. We have faced ups and downs. There have been times though, when for various reasons we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) come together physically as Husband and Wife.
- Times of a burdensome work load
- Seasons of turmoil within our marriage relationship
- During times of physical ailments
One “dry” season was when I was pregnant with my second child. Due to bleeding and pre-term labor, we were ordered to not have “relations” for the duration of the pregnancy. It was difficult. We lived in ‘heavy concern’ over the life of our baby, but couldn’t comfort one another by unifying our bodies.
During this time, my body longed for my husband and I to connect deeply. I felt alone and abandoned in my longing.
Other times, we just didn’t connect and I experienced the same sense of being abandoned and alone. During this time I was very vulnerable. My heart was so dry from the lack of connection, I found myself drawn to attention and affection from another man. Fortunately, I recognized it before I made a decision that could have cost me my marriage. Sadly many women with dry hearts don’t stop in time to avoid damaging their marriage further.
A SPIRITUAL LONGING
In a similar way, there are times my heart and soul long and ache to be close to God. To have Him saturate me entirely with Himself and His presence.
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.”, Psalm 63:1, NLT
Even though this longing is there, I don’t always go to Him. There can be many things that keep me from going to Him.
- I’m too busy to realize the longing is for Him
- Things haven’t gone “my way” and I’m pouting
- I’m doubting His love for me
- I’ve done something wrong and don’t think He will receive me
- I’m afraid He will reject me and my efforts
- I think He really doesn’t want me to come to Him
- I am confusing my longing for Him with longing for something else
- I’m not ready to release control over to God in a certain area or circumstance
AN INVITATION TO COME
In these moments when I am doubting His willingness and desire to have me close, I need to remember the invitation His Word gives me.
HE IS MY SAFE REFUGE
When I am tempted to pull away attempting to protect myself, He wants to me to run into the safety of His protection and provision.