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 those who are in touch with their inner emotions recognize this deep sense of longing. God has placed that longing deep within us so that we will satisfy it by seeking Him.
But He also allows us freedom in how we satisfy that longing. We can satisfy it by going to Him…or we can try and satisfy it by going elsewhere. Anything or anyone we use to satisfy that longing outside of God becomes a false idol.
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 only question is how.
Henri Nouwen tells of coming to the realization of his longing 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.”
For Nouwen to come to this realization…he had to slow down.
The hardest thing for us to do in medicine is to slow down. It’s easier to speed up and ignore the longing. But until we recognize and deal with our inner longing, we will spend vast amounts of our life consciously and subconsciously trying to satisfy that longing.
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 for You.