We all have wants, but longing is more than that. It is deeper than a simple want. It is your hearts desire. It is what you dream about. It is so great that it causes an ache within you. Time passes and the ache grows. You wonder, “When will it come to pass?” You question if it will ever happen. You have waited so long for a healing, promotion, change, new home, family reconciliation etc. The list is endless. This scripture says it all.
All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.
(Psalm 38:9 NIV)
We can get the point of giving up on the longing. So much time passes we begin to believe it will never happen. I had these feelings just yesterday. As I was commuting home from work, my head was filled with self-pity. I was reminded of a statement I heard at a leadership conference recently, “My worst day is better than others best day.” That spurred me to gratitude. I began thanking God for all the things I do have. I admit, it wasn’t easy at first. My heart didn’t want to participate, but I pushed through. Slowly my spirit began to lift.
I believe it is God’s desire to give us what our hearts desire. It might not always look exactly as we imagine. It might come in segments, and it will probably take longer than we expect.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 NIV)
It becomes a process of us learning to pay attention to Him in the midst of our longing. Today in my email was a step in the right direction. It didn’t fulfill my longing entirely, but it gave me a piece to hold onto and be thankful for. It would be easy to dismiss the email as a distraction from the desire if I wasn’t paying attention. I believe my decision to be grateful and hopeful opened my heart to see what He is doing day-to-day to fulfill my longing. It opens my heart to see how He is working within me, refining me, preparing me for the time of fulfillment. I believe that day will still come.
Take your aches, your desires, your dreams to the foot of the cross. Jesus will take them and nurture within you a new heart and will bring those longings to fulfillment or change the longing into better alignment with His will. Being thankful in the midst of the waiting is a gift to your heart. It will lighten your burden and allow you to continue to move forward. It doesn’t feel good to stay stuck in that place of longing. Gratitude lifts the heart.
Will you join me? Our God is big enough for all of our longings. What are you going to try as you wait on your desires? Share your thoughts here and we can be strengthened together.