Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Deepest Desire

What is your greatest desire?

Perhaps you have a great dream....maybe travel the world or learn to fly - is that your greatest desire? Think deeper.. think into your frustrated desires. Perhaps you have always wanted to open your own business, or be in great shape like your friend, or have an immaculately decorated home, always open for company. Do you have desires that have been frustrated by your own personality or circumstance? Think even deeper now, think about the desires of your heart that may never be satisfied. Do you long for reconciliation with your mom or dad who has passed away? Do you wish you could have said I love you one last time to a best friend before her life came to an end? Do your arms long to hold the baby you never knew? Are these the deepest desires of the human heart. Is that where our souls end - in the depths of insatiable desire?

Praise God no! Can you imagine that there is one more desire, greater and deeper than all of these? There is, there below the deepest desires wrought by the pain and despair of this fallen world, there the light of the Lord shines. You see, our greatest, deepest desire is to know God, be known by God, and glory in Him. It is what we have been designed to do from God's first thought of us.

What, are you kidding me? No, this is truth! It may seem dark and void of joy in the depths of your soul. It may seem that the deepest places are only burial grounds for dead hope. But our desire for God is there - it just may need to be awakened. Is your youthful joy of dance awakened with the rhythm of a great song? Is your deadened dream of being a singer awakened when you hear the beauty of "How Great Thou Art?" Is your desire to play an instrument aroused by the tuning of a symphony in an ornate concert hall? Is your desire to be in shape revived after watching the amazing athletic feats of Olympians? Perhaps the same is true of the greatest desire of our being - to know God. Just as our ears need a moment in the presence of virtuosos to awaken the sleeping musician within, perhaps our souls just need a few moments in the presence of the Savior to be awakened.

A beautiful and amazing thing happens as we arouse and feed this greatest desire. Imagine if you will a deep well - piled full with our pain and forgotten dreams, full of our regrets that we feel will never be repaired and our lost hopes that will never be fulfilled. At the very bottom of this well resides our desire to know the Lord and find our joy in Him. The weight of all that is within this well bears down on our deepest desire, at time crushing it into little more than a small nugget, yet it remains - dormant, waiting to be awakened. As we begin to fill ourselves daily with the words of God - we pour the water of His word down into the depths of this well. The water flows down, past the myriad of desires to the deepest one - reviving it. As our desire to know God soaks up the water of the Word, it begins to swell. And here is the amazing part... It doesn't push out the other desires - it consumes them. Spending time feeding the greatest desire of our being doesn't destroy our other desires, it doesn't push them aside in some form of holy denial, it doesn't disregard them, it literally consumes them. Your greatest desires that were truly unquenchable by the definitions and limitations of this world are consumed and satisfied by our growing love and desire for the Lord.

I know this because I have found it to be the only source of true healing. Two weeks after Lia died, I sat in my "mommy" chair feeling the heavy emotional weight of my empty arms. I longed to hold her. I believed it was the deepest desire of my being. The depression of this desire was unbearable. I could never hold her again and so the only cure for this desire was to either let it go - akin to losing her again - or die myself. How horrible that my God-given desire to nurture an infant was driving me to death. And then the Lord led me to read the first chapter of John Piper's book: Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. One line from the book instantly transformed my grieving – “The deepest longing of the human heart is to know and enjoy the glory of God.” There was the joy I longed for! The deepest, truly deepest longing of my heart is not lost in death! Instead, the deepest longing of my heart is actually a desire for life, a desire for God, a desire that can be FULLY SATISFIED!

When I feel the pain of death, and I do feel it often - I must look deeper, I must look for the greater desire for the Lord that, when filled, will also consume the pain of loss. It works, it truly does work! By spending time with the Lord, my soul is filled and somehow by His miraculous design, the deepest pain of my heart is being satisfied.

Thank You Lord that from the beginning of time you designed Man to desire You. Thank You that in my seeking You, all the desires of my heart may be satiated. Lord continue to draw my heart toward you, continue to reach deep within the well of my being and draw up my desire to know and enjoy you. Continue to fill me with Your love and Your presence in a manner that all my pile of desires, and hopes, and tears, are satisfied in You. Thank You Lord that in designing us to worship You, to desire You, You also desired for us to be filled and satisfied. You are glorious and worthy of all my desire.

John Piper:

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