[dc]A[/dc] number of years ago, following a number of discoveries I learned in the darkest chapter of my life, I wrote a book called The Longing: Embracing the Deepest Truth of Who You Are. Through many years of chronic pain and the resulting depression, I discovered God getting my attention in several areas of my life. My work. My marriage. My role as a father. My friendships. And my understanding of God and my personal relationship with Him.
I hope these words from Chapter One encourage you today.
In the search for identity, we ask, “Who am I?” But we are asking the wrong question. The essence of spiritual identity is knowing in our heart of hearts whose we are. If we don’t know this, our lives are filled with the fruit of unanswered questions. We can’t know who we are apart from relationship, and we are made to mirror the one who created us, because we were made in the image of God.
Our hearts have always longed to hear that we are chosen, loved, and accepted, but what our hearts have heard is the noise of many voices. Cruel voices. Lying voices. Manipulative voices. Controlling voices. The voice of silence. The voice of pain.
These voices are like obnoxious, uninvited neighbors who storm into our hearts without knocking and plop down in our living room, expecting us to serve them a cold one and whatever’s left in the fridge. Not wanting to offend but hoping they will soon leave, we let the voices chatter on and on. We listen and nod, trying politely to interject our opinion, but the voices dominate and control, dismissing whatever we say, always trying to keep the upper hand in the conversation.
This goes on for years. What we don’t recognize is that in listening to so many other voices, we’ve somehow lost our own voice. Some of us don’t even know we have one, let alone experience the deeper, quieter Voice calling out to us.
C. S. Lewis wrote that all the noise and chatter in our life begins the moment our eyes blink open in the shrinking shadows of the early morning light.
“The real problem of the Christian life comes from where people do not look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; listening to that other Voice, taking in that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind. We can only do it for moments at first. But from those moments the new sort of life will be spreading through our system; because now we are letting Him work at the right part of us. It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid on the surface, and a dye or stain which soaks right through.”
I believe God has put this insatiable longing in our hearts so that we will find our ultimate satisfaction in Him. What do you say?