“I would be happy if only (fill in blank).”
What did you put in the blank? For some of you it might be a tight-knit friend group. For some of you it might be a job. Maybe you put “boyfriend” in the blank.
We all have dreams. We dream about the future, and we wonder what our lives will be like down the road. We claim to have Christ first in our hearts, but if our deepest longings remain unfulfilled, we wonder: could we ever be satisfied? Do we really believe that God is all that we need?
Of course, it’s perfectly normal and good to have dreams and interests, but are we being consumed by our desires? If our longings were left unfulfilled, would we be content with having God alone?
When we are consumed by our desires, God is no longer first in our hearts. When God is first, He is what goes “in the blank”. He is enough for us. So, I ask you, is God “enough” for me and you?
I have replaced God with an idol many times in my life. Thinking deeper though, my desire isn’t really the idols. All of these thoughts and actions only serve someone else: me. We want to feel beautiful to boost our self-esteem. In our terrible pride, self-love, and idolatry, we want to feel like the most attractive, most amazing people with the world revolving around us. We want to have all our desires met and all our days filled with bliss and happiness.
Check out this amazing blog post by Olivia Feller for more on this subject, and then read the rest of this article… The end is the best part!
No matter how many times we reassure ourselves, however, we know we’re not “Ms. Perfect-in-Every-Way”, and many of our desires remain unfulfilled. Even if our longings are fulfilled, though, we quickly find a new desire to “fill in the blank”. If our deepest desires are of lesser things than knowing God, we discover that even the fulfillment of our longings won’t ultimately satisfy us. We have a gaping hole in our hearts; we long to be cherished and loved. We know that something is missing but look to all the wrong things to fulfill us. We long for unconditional, unstoppable love, but no matter what we do, we can’t find it. Maybe you thought a boyfriend would be enough to fill that deep desire. Maybe you thought popularity in your friend group would be enough. Maybe you thought that gold medal or A+ would be enough.
But it never is.
Many people, including myself, underestimate God and His love. Every time I doubt, though, I picture Christ’s sweaty, bloody, beaten body as He struggled up a hill only to be crucified and meet the wrath of God. How? Why? I could never face the full wrath of God for millions of believers past, present, and future. I could never even bravely face the crucifixion alone! I don’t even know if I could stand to watch it all. How could I ever doubt God’s love? No doubt about it: God SO loved the world.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We don’t deserve God’s love. That’s what makes it so amazing and unconditional. We were His enemies, and God poured out His blood for those who turn from their sins and trust Him. We do serve Him with our actions, but the Bible says even our good works are as dirty rags before God.
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
God is so holy, so righteous… how could we ever earn His favor? Without His love and tremendous, undeserved sacrifice, we would be completely lost and hopeless! This is the love I have to remember daily to fill my God-sized need for unconditional, unstoppable love. When we see this love, how can we not follow Him? When we remember the cross, how can we not serve Him for all our lives?
You aren’t going to feel pretty most of the time, but you can rest in knowing not only that He made you wonderfully, but that He loves you no matter what. Boyfriends may ditch you, friends and family may desert you, but God’s love and presence are enough. God is enough to fully satisfy us. Let’s make Him our deepest desire.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
Life won’t be a calm and easy ride, though. Crazy emotions, situations, and temptations will continue to be in our lives. With God, however, our true longings for love are filled and no matter what happens, we can cling to Him.