Yesterday I pointed out that each of us has a longing for God deep within us. We may not recognize that the focus of this longing is God. But if we are at all in tune with what is going on within us, we recognize that we have within us a deep sense of longing.
We are meant to use that longing as a motivation to draw us closer to the Lord.
If we don’t, we will attempt to satisfy that longing with false idols.
Anything and anyone can become a false idol to satisfy that longing.
We may seek to satisfy this longing through medicine by working hard to build a busy practice and a good reputation as a physician. Or we may turn to consumption, buying and using things to satisfy this longing. To the list of possibilities we can also add hobbies, affairs, and addictions.
We will satisfy that deep longing…the question is how.
We can avoid those temptations and false idols if we recognize the true object of that longing is God, and only He can satisfy it.
Henri Nouwen tells of coming to this realization in his book, The Return of the Prodigal Son as he contemplated Rembrandt’s famous painting of the parable.
“It had brought me into touch with something within me that lies far beyond the ups and downs of a busy life, something that represents the ongoing yearning of the human spirit, the yearning for a final return, an unambiguous sense of safety, a lasting home.”
Nouwen spent many hours contemplating Rembrandt’s painting. To come to this realization, he had to slow down.
That’s the hardest thing for us to do in medicine…slow down.
Yet me must slow down and consider our longings.
Until we do…we won’t fully recognize and identify its true object.
Have you identified that deep longing within you?
Have you recognized that only Jesus can satisfy that longing?
Tap into that longing and allow it to draw you closer to Christ.
Turn that deep longing into holy desire.
Prayer: Lord help me to slow down…recognize my longing… and turn it into holy desire.