The opening of the new year and the lingering quiet of January is always a sacred space to me. It’s a time to reflect and renew and recalibrate. And always at the top of my reflections and prayers for renewed fervor is in the place of desire.
It’s time to take stock of my hunger and thirst for God.
In all of my doings, all of my comings and goings, all of my seasons and all of life’s twists and turns, I want my desire for Jesus to be as a fiery flame, unquenched and strong. Where desire has grown dull is where I have lost the very heart of life. Where hunger for Him has been pacified is where I have settled for distractions rather than highest delight. Desire for Jesus is so precious.
At the heart of our humanity is our capacity to desire. We are incarnate thirsts and the Lord has designed us for (and dignified us with) that aching. The more desirous we are for the Lord, the more truly alive we are.
Conversely, the degree of our lack of hunger is the degree of our deadness and the measure of our disconnect from what we are actually fashioned for. We were made for HIM.
Our hunger, not fearing delays or the pain of yearning, hears all that is available, all that the future holds in fullness, all that the Creator intended for the present, and it reaches beyond itself, until that fullness is found, until that perfect Day dawns. Desire escorts us to the desireable One and helps us refuse to be comforted by anything or anyone less.
Most of the time, our problem is not that we want Him too much but that we want Him too little.
As C.S. Lewis said so insightfully,
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.
Though desperation may be looked down upon, and though some might say we are only to be content, we fool ourselves to think that shutting down desire is doing ourselves a favor. We fool ourselves to think that wanting more of God is not our portion. Desire and delight are intricately knit and you cannot have one without the other. Thus, to neglect the thirst of desire is to simultaneously forfeit the joy of delight. We can only delight in as much as we’ve desired (Ps. 37:4).
At the start of this new year, my prayer is that desire for Jesus would prevail over every area of passivity in my soul. That I would not be easily pleased with less than what He wants to give me in Him, but rather, cry out for the full measure that is in His heart. I am asking that He would awaken my children into the dignity of wanting more of Him. I am praying for my family and friends, that an aching desire for Him would fill their mind, heart, and soul and that He would draw our affections out of distraction and dullness and awaken us to the precious and holy longing we were fashioned for.
A.W. Tozer said,
He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.
Only the hungry get Jesus. Only the desperate find Him. So in all of our new and old resolutions, as we look at where we want to grow, let us not keep the Lord waiting for our wanting of Him. Let us lift our hunger to Him and ask that He breath on it, that He cause it to increase. Let us recount every taste that we’ve had of His goodness and of the glories to come, that our souls might be lifted from the slum of dullness and distraction into the sheer pleasure of holy passion for Him (Ps. 34:8; Heb. 6:5).
Let us resolve to desire Him and to seek Him all of our days (Ps. 27:4).