Alone and lonely, driving aimlessly down roads that were not yet home. It was not long after that day at eighteen, when I’d hugged my parents goodbye and braved the new horizon of on-my-own. All the years of countless one-on-one hours across little tables from Dad, prepared me now for this. Now it was time to venture out to what was ahead, leaving father’s house behind. Though I didn’t have much of my future sorted out, I had one thing clear. I wanted a heart that burned within me for Jesus, and I wanted this above all else. A faint vision of a heart riveted and wounded by the love of Jesus was all I could make out on the horizon of my dreams. I knew enough to know that such love had only just begun in my heart. I longed for the fullness.
Driving down those lonely roads, tears rolling – part with longing for God and part with missing home and familiar and safety – I prayed a prayer over and over.
Cause this heart to love You. Cause this heart to love You. Cause this heart to love You.”
And like a little sparrow tossed from the nest, He caught me in the mid-air descent of those vulnerable years of transition. He caught my heart up for Himself and drew it close. He loves to win us over for Himself when we’re vulnerable.
Fast-forward some seventeen years – with marriage and four kids and all the life that coincides – and it was just the other morning that it struck me new again. The day had begun in a fury, the race whistle blowing before dawn, and my little house with all of its little people had lunged ungracefully into the wild spinning. From warm beds to breakfast table, to changed clothes, school gear packed, winter coats donned, seat-belts buckled, I finally landed each of the four in their various places – half of my coffee now on the floorboard, as usual.
Following the whirlwind, with a deep breath I slid into my seat in that precious room of singing souls that has not fell silent in over fourteen years now. And it was only moments before He brought this vivid memory to my mind. I remembered that young girl, vulnerable and desperate, praying continually that her heart would somehow find its passions all centered and burning in this one flame – the Person of Jesus Himself.
And tears welled and then spilled unrelenting as I felt and knew the burning within – that familiar flame of affection – that had once been only a prayer.
You really did it. You answered me. You answered feeble prayers of a scared young heart with the nod of Your own agreement, catching me in my free fall in those years and drawing me to Yourself. You somehow caused my heart to not only love You, but to know You, to yearn for You and to be satisfied fully in You – not just in language, but actually.
And though the depths of His love assure me that I’ve still only just begun, I know this: He answers us when we cry out to Him in prayer, asking Him to direct our passions toward Himself (Prov. 3:5-6; 2 Thess. 3:5). He meets our weak prayers and untangles our affections from lesser loves, and in so doing gives us something more precious than gold. Then, all the secondaries can come and go as they will. Favor from men can rise and fall. In abundance or lack, our treasure and contentment rest secure (Matt. 6:20-21).
In Your Youth, Dig a Well in Prayer
[framed_box] So this is for the twenty-somethings and for those young hearts battling it out in the place of prayer and feeling the stigma and the question marks looming -– is it even worth it?! A wholehearted YES, I give you. Wisdom rarely gets applauded in its beginnings, but in the end, it’s vindicated (Matt. 11:19).
In your youth, dig a well in the place of prayer. Even when you feel like you’re free falling and alone, it’s time to fervently seek that Man. And when it’s dry and difficult and a seeming waste, do not give up. He will be found by you. He will answer.
In that time of life when you’re dangling and you’ve no favor or promotion or finances to your name, bind yourself to God and set your affections wholly upon Him. Wrestle with your future until you finally come up able to say, “You’re my future! You’re my reward (Ps. 16:5-6)!”[/framed_box]
And you will find the treasure that cannot be taken from you: your affections all wrapped up and centered upon Jesus Himself. You will form a foundation will be as a rock beneath you when the winds come and the storms beat upon your house (Matt. 7:24-27).
In short, He will take your heart, and over time, He will cause it to love Him (Matt. 22:37). And from this well, you will drink all your days – a satisfaction and reward that cannot be taken from you (Ps. 36:8-9; Prov. 4:23; Lk. 10:42).