“Keep praying, but be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your prayers.” William Culbertson
Longing is a part of the human experience. Even for the wealthiest people on earth, there are times when they long for improved relationships, youth… someone to share love with. The rest of us long for more foundational things like a better job, a stronger economy, a healthy child, enough money to get by, and significance.
When my friend prayed for a better paying job she was not sure it was a blessing when she got it. Co-workers weren’t friendly, she was demeaned by a demanding boss and required to work much longer hours. “I was barely getting by to pay my bills before, but at least I wasn’t miserable,” she said.
“Susan” felt invisible and unloved by her husband. When a man from work began paying lots of attention to her she believed her prayers to feel loved had been answered. After a devastating divorce, she realizes that this was not God’s answer to her plea.
Paul asked God to remove the “thorn in his side.” He never did. In spite of, or maybe because of his pain, Paul touched more with the message of Jesus than anyone else in history. His legacy lives on and because of the burden of pain he carried, he related to suffering in a way that only fellow strugglers could. He didn’t preach at them, he came along-side.
As you consider the longings in your heart today, here are a few questions to consider:
- What is missing that makes you long for this?
- How will fulfilling this longing improve your life?
- Is it a need or a want?
- Will it improve your relationships and the lives of loved ones?
After you’ve answered those questions determine if you should let this longing go or hold on to it…and if you still feel that this is a true longing of your heart: What are you willing to give up for this?
What is one thing you’ll commit to do this week to move toward your goal?
I long to be thin and firm with no wrinkles…but I’m not willing to live on lettuce and chicken breast with a side of Botox. I’ll do my best to be a good steward of my body but my “longing” is going to have to go!
Do you have any experiences with longing for something and getting it or not getting it? How did God answer your prayers?