Longing for God

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During a run the other day some words from a song by the Script came through my earbuds. I’d heard the song before but this day the pain in the singers’ words struck me with renewed vigor.

“Going back to the corner where I first saw you
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag, I’m not gonna move
Got some words on cardboard, got your picture in my hand
Saying, “If you see this girl can you tell her where I am?”

I suppose these clever words were so striking because I recognized them immediately. Sure, I’d heard the song before, in fact I was hearing it now because it was on my ‘most played playlist” but it was the depth of the angst in the writer’s words that resonated with me, and transported me back in time. The man in the song showed this willingness to go to extraordinary lengths and depths to consummate the longing of the soul. The devotion which prompted this sacrificial, self-denying action touched me. Then I realized why I was moved by “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”.

I had once been that young man, one who would have done anything to fill the hole in his heart. The one who had tried the many remedies the world offers to salve the gaping wound which plagued people like me. All the cures offered by my culture were found lacking, all temporary, all disappointing. Until… until the day I realized that the longing I suffered under, had been placed there! This angst, this restlessness, this eternal aching of the heart had been lovingly, mercifully, graciously placed there so that I might find its Placer, the way one is surprised by a delicious meal and must go to find the chef.

I had been tricked! I had been lovingly, mercifully, graciously duped by the Divine! This longing which I felt would be my undoing, actually served me by leading me to its Author. Eternal crumbs of discontent meant to lead me to the all satisfying Bread of Life. St Augustine put it like this, You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.”

We have within us a genuine need for God – a God-shaped vacuum, to paraphrase Pascal. God wants us to seek Him. He has set eternity in the hearts of men – all men have in their deepest being a longing for something not of this world.

The hidden One has revealed Himself to us in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ. In Him, my eternal longings have met their eternal match. C.S. Lewis explained the conundrum of the aching soul well when he said -“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

 

Jim Delver is an Elder at Trinity Chickasha and has worked for Comanche County Hospital in Lawton for 21 years in the field of Radiation Oncology. Jim says that the most important thing anyone could know about him is summed up in John Newton’s words: “I know two things, I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great savior”.


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