Who Do You Long For?

“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,

And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

How blessed are all those who long for Him.” - Isaiah 30:18

I think back to when I was thirteen years old. What a wise old sage I was. Back then, I made such great decisions with my life, offered only the finest in thoughtful advice, and behaved with maturity well beyond my years.

At least that’s what I thought of myself at the time. In fact, some of the biggest boneheaded moves I ever made happened when I was an early teen. I became an expert liar to my parents. As I struggled with the usual temptations that teenage boys face (rampant lust, dirty jokes, general hooliganism), my ability to keep bad behaviour a secret grew and developed beyond expectation.

I was even an expert at lying to myself. One such example came when I had developed a bit of a crush on a cute blonde girl at church. Under the assumption that I had a direct line connection with the Almighty, I determined that I would find out with certainty whether this girl was “the one.” The one I would give my life to. The one I would marry. The one I would grow old with.

So, I opened up my Bible and tried to find all the stories where boy meets girl for the purpose of getting married. I read about Abraham and Sarah. Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob and Rachel. Samson and Delilah. David and Bathsheba. Yeah, some of them were more sordid than others. But I believed that if I read enough Bible stories, God would confirm what I already knew to be true in my heart. That I would marry the cute blonde girl.

Well, as the months marched on, I didn’t hear from God the way I wanted. I had become totally smitten for this girl and thought about her night and day. Of course, at thirteen, it never occurred to me that talking to her might be a good idea. Getting to know her as a person was not on my radar at all. I pined for this girl without having said more than twelve words to her in four months. The longing was severe.

So, I made a deal with God. I prayed to Him: “Lord, I ask you tonight in my dreams to reveal to me the person that I am to marry. Whoever you reveal to me in that dream, I will know that you have chosen her to be my future wife. Amen.”

Well, who do you think I dreamed about that night? The cute little blonde girl! Shocker, I know!

So, I went to church that Sunday and determined I needed to tell her that God revealed to me in a dream that she and I would be married one day. It would take more courage than I had ever had before, but it needed to happen. God’s will was on the line.

I pulled her off to the side. Shaking magnificently, I stammered my way through the most inarticulate speech ever offered by a human being. It did end with me telling her that God chose us to be married one day.

She certainly was silent for a disturbing period of time.

Finally, her response: “Okay, then. What's next?”

I didn’t have an answer for her. That was the last meaningful conversation we ever had.

I chose to tell you that prepubescent story of hormonal agony to make a point on the subject of longing. It started with a garden variety crush on a cute little blonde girl. But by allowing myself to think about her, daydream about our life together, write down the words I wanted to say to her, praying about her, reading Scripture in search of her, and asking for divine guidance from God about her in my dreams, I had developed a severe longing for this girl.

And that’s how God is hoping you will pursue Him.

Could you imagine how different my year would have been if I had chased after him the way I did for this girl? How different would I be if I had said I wanted to know about my future with God instead of some girl I had only spoken twelve words to?

Did you know that God also longs for you? He thinks about you all the time. He is bonkers about you. He allowed His Son, Jesus Christ to give up His life for you. If you had one smidgen of the desire for Him that He has for you, your life would never be the same again.

So, today, I urge you to consider what developing a deep longing for God looks like. Chasing after him leads to the greatest rewards life has to offer.

Pastor Scott