What we Long For

“Consumed with longing”

That’s such rich language. Can you think of any way to improve upon it to make it more deep-reaching?

The psalms can be like that.

My soul is consumed with longing
for your [God’s] laws at all times.

-Psalm 119:20

When I read a verse like that, I tend to have one of two reactions. Either it rings true and my heart says, “yes! Amen!” Or else I gloss over it. I barely notice the heartfelt vocabulary or I might even think it cheesy and self-righteous.

143-what-we-long-for

If I go beyond a skim read of this verse, it begs the question, “what is my soul consumed with longing for?”

If you frequent my blog regularly, chances are you’re big on reading. Is your soul ever consumed with longing for the book you’re in at the time? Or is your soul ever consumed with longing for peace and quiet?

It could be a number of other things:

  • Coffee or something sweet
  • Games
  • “Me time”
  • Recognition
  • Rights

I’m ashamed to say (though you probably could have figured it without my admitting to it) that I’ve longed for trivial and/or selfish things. Observing my past actions and attitudes, you could take the phrase “consumed with longing” and associate it with things that don’t merit such rich language. It’s pairing the sacred together with the common.

The Lord hand-crafted us to be creatures that long. Our longing is designed to compel us towards Him. We scorn that design when we long so passionately for something common and fleeting.

C.S. Lewis said it well:

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Let our longings be first for God Himself, then for the things of God. If there’s any longing left in us after that, well… let’s deal with it if we get there. I have a feeling that’s a far-fetched scenario.

Let’s Talk

  • What longings do you tend to feel for that are less than worthy? What makes them unworthy?
  • Is it possible not to long for anything? How does that play out practically?
  • Do you have a favorite, deeply expressive psalm of verse from Psalms?
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6 thoughts on “What we Long For

  1. I absolutely love Psalm 63:1-8. To me it’s such a beautiful declaration of longing for God, seeking Him who satisfies.
    We should long for God and long for Him with every fiber of our being – which is a LOT easier said than done. It’s hard for me because sometimes i’ll indulge into the world of fiction and lose sight of what’s really important. But Jesus is what really matters.
    Thanks for sharing this, Jordy! Great (and timely) post! 🙂

    Like

    1. Oh, such beautiful verses!

      “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”

      “I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;”

      The Lord works things out in His perfect timing and amazes us by how He does it.

      Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

      Like

  2. What longings do you tend to feel for that are less than worthy? What makes them unworthy?:

    I think the usual things – cookies, cake, candy, being rich and famous, marriage (as in I can’t live if I don’t get married when I’m grown up & why is it taking me so long to meet someone who I can be friends with now and marry later!) … I don’t know what all else. That I’d be a better writer/blog/designer than anyone else in the world, perhaps.

    And I think what makes them unworthy is their ability to take my focus away from God and from serving Him and by making my discontent with myself. Although all the sugary things not so much. Unless you want to go to the extreme and say, “Hey, if you don’t eat healthy you’re not respecting your body which God made!” but I don’t know about that.

    Is it possible not to long for anything? How does that play out practically?:

    I don’t know, myself. I don’t think so? I mean, we are just human beings, and we have a bad habit of being discontent! Still, with God, all things are possible.

    Do you have a favorite, deeply expressive psalm of verse from Psalms?:

    Psalm 8 is my favorite chapter of all time. “What is man that You are mindful of him and the son of man that You visit him.” Just makes me shiver with delight!

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    1. I suppose you could say that with God all things are possible and so with Him, it’s possible not to have any longings… But I honestly don’t think that’s the direction He would lead us in. I get the impression He’d rather refine our longings and restore them to be right before Him – that we might long for Him. There’s a school of thought that tells Christians to be chaste and not desire things, and there’s probably a seed of truth in there. But I respect the thought I quoted from C.S. Lewis. (I almost shared it again here in this comment. Then I was like, “wait a minute, did I share it in the post?)

      LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! – What a beautiful Psalm! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, definitely! Like, I suppose it IS possible, but I don’t think it’s likely, and I’ve certainly never heard of anyone who could honestly say that they have no desires they oughtn’t to have. I certainly can’t say it!

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      2. Ooooh, I see what you mean. X) Yes, perhaps with God and given enough time for Him to work in our lives it is possible not to have wrong desires. Certainly, it could only be possible with Him.

        Liked by 1 person

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