Today I found the following “draft” of a blog in my blog queue…
It’s been one of those days–filled to the brim with the richness and the beauty of life. JD and I are entering our third month of marriage; never have I found an earthly companionship as sweet or as fulfilling. I am beginning to see physical changes manifest in my waistline as God continues to knit and fashion our coming blessing in secret. Our friendships are warm and vibrant; our families are filled with love. And yet, today I am miserable.
If you’re thinking perhaps this is some plunge of pregnancy hormones, let me quickly explain that it’s not “that kind” of misery. I am not in conflict with anyone in my life. I did not wake up in a bad mood. No–this is a heavy ache that has become familiar over my life; a sudden, piercing pain, like unexpectedly remembering the death of an old friend. It is mourning for the Bridegroom.
Jesus said that His followers would mourn and fast when He left them (Matthew 9:15); this is an ideology diametrically opposed to the comfort-Christianity we have espoused in the West. We don’t want to mourn, arguing instead that God created us to enjoy life. This is a lie. We were created for His glory and His pleasure, not for our own (Col. 1:16, Rom. 11:6, 1 Cor. 8:6, Rev. 4:11). God gives to us because He is a kind Father who loves us; unfortunately, we have taken that to the extreme and reduced faith to little more than a means to an end.
God is kind to allow us to preach to ourselves from time to time. There continues to be a deep dissatisfaction in my heart with life-as-usual. Despite the continued sweetness of life, preparing for the little one who will join our family in a few months and relishing in the chummy companionship of one who understands me so well, there remains a wild, lonely ache in my heart. Today, I found myself praying, “Jesus….You said I’d never thirst again…that I would become the well of deep, living water. Change my perspective.”
Truly, we were made for more than a life of comfortable routine, though we often silence the ache for more with a new television series, a new video game, a new project on our homes, a new craft, a new hobby, a new sport…. For my part, football season and Facebook were an almost-lethal attack to relevance in my life a few years ago; and I remained miserable, plunging into yet another of the seasons of melancholy have been with me most of my life. Although I accepted accusations of being moody and strove to find some particular circumstance to blame for the sudden disquiet, I could never seem to find a justifiable cause.
Life has changed in just about as many ways as possible since then. The apartment has given place to a house; single life gave way to marital bliss; the frantic, must-be-somewhere-every-night schedule is no more. Even football and Facebook have taken a pass, thanks to no cable and a several week Facebook fast.
No, circumstances are not to blame. This is the deep, wild call of God, stirring our hearts to cry out to Him. This is the ache of Holy Spirit inspired intercession when we don’t know why we are praying. It is not depression or ingratitude; it is the bittersweet bride-to-be who accepts that her Bridegroom has not yet returned. She lives in resigned participation with life going along around her, but her heart is not engaged unless He’s involved. With every prayer, she is writing yet another letter imploring the speeding days to pass faster. With every quiet moment in the Word, she is gazing through the window and up the road, hoping to see Him rounding the corner. This is pure, unadulterated longing. She aches for Him. WE ache for Him.
Each day, He gives us a choice; we can satiate our heart-ache with good things, or we can do the one thing that is needed and sit with Him in silence. May He gives us renewed grace to say, “yes.”