Ever look around church and feel like you must be the only one who’s not getting as much from God as you want?
The truth is we all long for more of God than we experience.
We want God to show up, to love us in the places that yearn for Him most, to make a difference we can feel and see.
Waiting for God can be like waiting for sex. (Bear with me.)
Consider a bride-to-be who can’t wait to come together sexually with the man she loves. She wants him and she wants to be wanted by him. (Sound anything like how you feel about God?)
What are her choices in how to deal with her desires?
- She can try to shut them down, to pretend like they’re not there. To do this successfully, she’ll have to pull away from her fiancé—relationally, emotionally, or in proximity.
- She could also take her desires elsewhere. Since her future husband isn’t available sexually, she could find someone else who is.
These are similar to the temptations we face when we feel God isn’t showing up for us. We can lower our hopes, assuming God doesn’t care much about how we feel, so we best get used to it. Or we can try to satisfy our desires with a temporal fix—using alcohol, food, sex, entertainment, work, even ministry.
But here’s an important question: What does the bride-to-be do to their wedding night by choosing 1 or 2? What does it cost their relationship as a whole?
Neither option is helpful for a bride and groom, and neither is helpful for us in our relationships with God.
Of course, there is another option:
What if instead of these, though the bride-to-be burns with unmet desire for him, she waits? What if, instead of running from her desire or running somewhere else with it, she embraces it?
How would that wedding night be different?
God knows you want more of Him. It’s nothing to be ashamed of in front of him. Your unmet hunger is not a sign he’s holding out on you, it’s a sign he made you for more of him. And like a good bridegroom, he loves that you want more of him, and he wants more of you, too.
Christ, our bridegroom, shows us his willingness to wait for us through the cross. There, he bore into his body all the ways we shut down from him and all the ways we left him for another lover. And it was there he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!”
Don’t shut down your longing for him. And don’t take it elsewhere. Instead, wait with him. Press your longing into his body on the cross.
The wedding of the Bride and Bridegroom is coming.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7).
Question: What helps you “wait” when God doesn’t seem to be showing up for you where you need or long for him? Share a comment below.