Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spiritual Hiccups - Longing

I've written before about experiencing God's absence, seeking God's presence but not finding it. Such times can be very frustrating for those who desire God in their lives. At times such unfulfilled longing can seem like torment.

However, such longing may be God's way of inviting us into a deeper relationship. This longing may be a gift of the Spirit that beckons us. Psalm 42 seems to come out of a time of both longing and despair, a time when the psalmist's soul is cast down and enemies taunt him saying, "Where is your God?" Yet out of this dark night of the soul comes a deep awareness of the psalmist's intense need for God. "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."

It is easy to fall into a cursory relationship with God, a business-like, contractual relationship where we believe and do certain things in hope of some payout. But God knows we need something more. We were created out of God's love for love - love shared with God and with others. And sometimes the experience of unfulfilled longing may be just what we need to draw us out of our comfort zones into pure love.

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