Living with Longing
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)
To my single friends who want to get married, to my married friends who want children, to my sick friends who want to be healthy, to parents who have wayward children and to anyone else who has unfulfilled desires, how do you live with longing? Have any of you felt desperate to fulfill your desires?
Whichever way you turn, whatever you do, your desires are not fulfilled again…and again…and again. Disappointed does not begin to describe how you feel. Feeling left behind and abandoned you find bitterness creeping up in your heart. Feeling defeated, you begin to wonder whether your desires will ever be met. In the waiting period, how do you live life with unfulfilled desires?
First, do not abandon your desires. Acknowledge that having unfulfilled desires is painful. Let’s all be real about it. It stinks. Everyone around you has their desires met and somehow you are the one that feels ‘left behind’. However, as painful as it is, if it is a God given desire, do not let go of your desire!
I have seen people who have lived with an unfulfilled desire for a long time become bitter and in the process cut off their heart and kill their desire. Contentment is not the same thing as apathy. Though it may seem easier to kill the desire than to live in the tension of having a desire that is not met, God has something more for you. Times of unfulfilled desires in my life have been times of deep intimacy with the Lord.
Secondly, pray and do not lose heart (Lk 18:1). Pray unceasingly with faith believing God hears you (I John 5:14). He will answer your prayers according to your faith (Matt 9:29) and His will so He will be glorified (John 14:13). God demonstrates this with the parable of the persistent widow who repeatedly went to the judge for justice and because of her persistence he granted her justice. Hannah earnestly prayed to the Lord for a baby (I Samuel 1:10,11) and the Lord granted her a baby (I Samuel 1:20).
Lastly, give your life away. Get connected with a local church, become a member and serve. The fulfillment of your desires is in God’s hands and timing anyway. We have no control over it so rather than stagnantly sitting and waiting give your life away. I remember struggling being single and going to an intergenerational bible study rather than a singles bible study. There was not one single prospect in my community. However, I felt called to go to the intergenerational group trusting God would bring my husband from who knows where.
Lo and behold, the Lord brought my husband in California to me in Houston. When we met each other we both had been actively serving in our churches trusting God for each other. What a blessing it was for me to find someone who saved his emotions and heart for me by using His time to serve God faithfully rather than date around. Also, giving our lives away made waiting that much more meaningful and joyful.
The Lord truly does not withhold any good thing for those who love Him. What are you trusting God for in your waiting period?