I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about longings which feel exactly like losses – even though I’ve never experienced the longed-for thing.
Can you really lose something you’ve never had?
Apparently a lot of song writers think you can because when I googled™ that question, a whole flurry of song lyrics came up.
I remember the exact moment when I realized that not one drop of my DNA would go beyond me. I was at a family reunion and watched as my married brothers gathered their children and grandchildren together for pictures. While my personal desire to have children has always been tied to husband first, children second, the realization was still quite like a sledge hammer blast to the heart. I melted into a puddle of tears and fled to a quiet corner to be alone.
That awareness has served to give me great compassion for those married folks who ache to have children, but for varying reasons, cannot. Some go through the heartache of hoping with expectations which are dashed to pieces over and over. It brings some couples together in heart-to-heart ways they would never had anticipated. It tears other couples apart as each person deals with grief in different ways which shreds their relationship to pieces. Other couples struggle as one spouse wants children, the other does not. Each of these bruising experiences has its roots in that fateful day in Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Not only did they live their whole lives suffering the consequences, but they passed that legacy on to every one of us.
Paul understands those effects when he wrote Romans 8:35-39. He asserts confidently that the love of Jesus Christ cannot be shaken by trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, violence [sword], death, life, angels, demons, present, future, powers, height, depth, or anything else in creation. Well – that about covers it all, doesn’t it?
There are times when I allow some of these admittedly huge things to hide God’s love from my sight. There is a line in verse 4 of Charles Wesley’s great hymn, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” which says, “He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free!” Think of it! Even when we have Jesus as Savior and Lord in our lives today, we are living through the consequences of sins He died for 2,000+ years ago.
He wants us to live in the reality of canceled sin which has no power over us!
Read some more of Paul’s words in Colossians 2:14-15 from The Message: God brought you alive–right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the cross and marched them naked through the streets.
“Longings reveal something is missing in our lives yet our attempts to fill up the hole often leave us terribly unsatisfied. I explore the question, “What if our longings are sacred, given by God for a purpose?” **
Longings come in all shapes and sizes. There is no “one size fits all.” More and more, I believe that my longings are truly designed to drive me deeper into knowing God with every ounce of my being. Jesus alone is my Savior, is always with me, will never fail me. No person on earth can fill those shoes.
So, what about you? What are your longings? I appreciate your comments, and invite you to read Janey’s thoughtful comment to the post, “really good resolutions for us all.” I also see that I’m off on an internet trail of great thoughts from others about singleness and Godly longings.
** From website, “Deeper Devotion” by Elizabeth, a spiritual director