Do you ever have the feeling that you are chasing something in life that won’t fully satisfy you? Pay attention to that feeling. It’s from God.
We’re not just talking about substance abuse issues, although drinking and pursuing other addictions are certainly ways of chasing something futile. But we’ve also known a lot of “good church people” who sit in a service every week—or who preach from a pulpit to those people—who feel themselves to be far from God. They’re “successful” or “put together” or “righteous” on the outside, but they’re missing God on the inside. They keep busy with religious practices and work, school, or family, but it just isn’t enough. They long for God to feel real to them.
That longing is the first spiritual awakening for all of us finding our way back to God: “There’s got to be more.”
When you long for a love that is deep and satisfying, when you want to give yourself to something that will truly make a difference, or when you seek answers to life’s most difficult questions, you are looking for God. You’ve really got two options: you can keep searching to fill these longings on your own, or you can look to the One who gave you those longings in the first place.
Our longing for real love goes all the way back to how the human race was made in the first place. God intended that we experience his love both directly from him and through others we relate to in a healthy way. What we long for, God doesn’t just have but actually God is. He is love and he pursues us with love.
We’ve heard it said that every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is really looking for God. If you are knocking on the door of some self-destructive behavior or relationship, you might actually have arrived at an important point in your journey back to God. Why? Because the disappointment you inevitably feel in cheap substitutes will make you wonder where you can find real love. Will you open yourself up to letting God fill your longing to love and be loved?