When we pursue a close relationship with Jesus, we often come face to face with the deepest longings within our souls. We seem to feel an ache as we take time in prayer. We cry out from the depths of us. In the midst of life’s noise, we yearn to reach out and come face to face with what really matters.
Even more, we stumble upon the slippery river rocks of our struggles in which we must fight against filling the voids we feel with things other than Jesus. We need to just let go, take a deep breath, and journey out of our comfort zone, diving deep into the, at first, shockingly frigid river and start swimming upstream toward God’s throne.
This can feel like an unbearably raw place to be. In the midst of worship and prayer (whether in a group, church, or alone), the tug to pull away from feeling and from honestly facing our neediness yanks at us, trying to rope us back into more practical activities and even into mere distractions.
We may first face the deafening ache of our hearts, ever needy for God, as we attempt to draw nearer to Him. Within our souls the pain of this longing can seem like an intolerable silence, yet all at once filling us with its wearying noise. It is the deep calling to deep at the roar of His waterfalls (Psalm 42:7).
Our surrender to God’s ways will soon smell satisfyingly sweet if we will simply turn our gaze to Him and off our soul and our circumstances. Know this: Jesus is worth it all in comparison to any other pursuit. Refuse to quit when your soul demands you to pacify its needs in other ways. Keep drawing near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
All this may seem foreign if you have not journeyed this way before, but in time I pray that, for each of us, the budding understanding of this experience will be fully formed in us, helping us choose to push past the pain, the emptiness, and the yearning with the determination to grow closer to God.
We know with assurance: Only Christ can fully satisfy these yearnings. The ache sometimes felt in prayer will only be answered rightly by God. Nothing else will do. Despite how it feels, take His Word in your hand and get to know Him. Pray, read, study and seek after the One who truly satisfies.