We steel ourselves against the longing, the ache, the pain. I know we do. I know I do. What else are we to do?
And we’ve done so for so long, many of us do not know the longing is there at all. And even among those of us who know it’s there, we fear how deep it goes.
Recently, my family spent a week with my in-laws in the Midwest. My children love their grandparents and two of them got to stay an extra week. They missed us, and of course it was different than being at home, but they had a great time. (Ahh, the luxury of being a kid on summer break!)
Monday, my wife met her parents half way and drove our kids home. I was there when they arrived. My 9-year old daughter came in first. When she saw me she yelled, “Daddy!” and her face brightened into a big smile as she ran to my arms. I scooped her up, a big daddy hug for a little princess.
In my arms, she began to cry. Big sobs and sighs.
A few minutes later, my 7-year old son tromped through the door like a huntsmen returning with a prize. I knelt down and held his face in my hands to get a look at him, then pulled him close and hugged him strong.
He too began to cry—transformed into a smaller, younger boy in my arms.
In the safety and assuredness of home, the protective shell can crack finally, and from it flows tender, vulnerable places of the heart.
My children couldn’t articulate all that was going on for them. (Neither can I.) All they knew to say was, “I missed you.” All they knew to do was cry—to let it out at last.
We steel ourselves against the longing, against the ache for the Love that satisfies. What else are we to do? We’re not Home yet.
Jesus left with a Promise: I go to prepare a place for you, I wouldn’t lie about this. I won’t forget. And I will come back for you, and you will be with Me forever in the place I’ve prepared just for you.
We were not created to live steeled against our longing. We were created to feel it strong and open it to Him—to this Jesus, who carries the fullness of all Longing within Himself even now as He prepares a place for us.
Maybe today we begin by noticing our longing instead of steeling ourselves against it. Maybe today we choose not to distract ourselves from it with media, busyness, or stuff. Maybe today we resist the strong urge to numb it with sex, food, or some other thrill.
Maybe today we begin simply with, “I miss You.” or “When are You coming for me?”
And if we’re willing to receive His promise as little children, maybe we’ll have the grace to cry, to pour out as an offering the most tender, most vulnerable places of our hearts to the Lord.
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