Longing For God
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
WHILE WE CAN’’T HELP BUT LONG FOR GOD, WE CAN, AND OFTEN DO, FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THIS LONGING FOR WHAT IT IS. Personal beings made for fellowship with their Creator will need Him in their hearts whether or not they do what they should about that need. “The yearning to know What cannot be known, to comprehend the Incomprehensible, to touch and taste the Unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calleth unto deep . . . the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its Source” (A. W. Tozer).
This longing for God can be a great clue to what our lives really mean at the deepest level. When any longing is present, however faintly we may feel it, that is the signal of some incompleteness. Since what we need is often deeper and different than we think, we should consider our longings carefully. The “eternal” craving that refuses to go away, even when we’’re most completely enjoying this world, should not be denied. What we’re needing is something much more than anything in the world itself.
Usually our longing for God is experienced as something quite vague. We are conscious only of a gentle tug at our hearts. Sometimes it feels like a sadness or a homesickness. At other times it feels like the foretaste of some great joy. We may sense it when we hear a lonely cello or see the sun set beyond the western sea. When a baby laughs in his mother’s arms or an old woman weeps over her husband’s corpse, we feel a joy and a sorrow tinged with something slightly mysterious. Although hard to describe, it is unarguably there. Eternity is in our hearts.
In a broken world, however, our longing will at times take the form of outright pain. “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22). We LONG for more than we have because we were MADE for more than our hearts can reach right now.