Almost everyone is familiar with the Rolling Stones hit called, “I can’t get no Satisfaction.” But we sure do try..driving in the car, while watching t.v., riding round the world, baby I’ll come back next week. The song became an instant hit because of its familiarity with each and everyone of us. There is an inner desire for us to be satisfied.
In my quiet time a few weeks ago I read an excerpt titled “Unmet Longings” (Walking with God, John Eldredge, p. 184-186). The author posed the question, “What do we do with these longings and desires that go unmet?” I mean, they keep presenting themselves in one way or another. I think what I do is simply bury them (and I see others do it too). On one hand, of course we do. It feels like we have to. You cannot live your life with a constant awareness of heightened desires that are unmet, just as you can’t go through your day continually pining for a life you do not have. You have to live the life you do have. But I find that from time to time God comes and actually stirs our longings and desires, awakens them. You see someone and think, “What would life be like with her (or him)?” Over dinner one night someone tells you how much he loves his job and you think, “Maybe it’s time for a change, I always did want to ________________________ (fill in the blank).”
And so a question was posed, what is that unmet longing…what is that one thing you are always looking for? I asked a friend and her response was “to move.” Everywhere that she has always lived has never been good enough. She goes on a vacation, and she wants to pick-up and move there. She is never satisfied with her current situation…her neighbors or her friends. There is an unmet longing hoping and fantasizing about something better. Bigger. Grander. More. I asked my spouse the same question, and surprisingly he said, “the perfect vacation.” He’s always looking for the perfect “aha” moment…the “high” that one receives from getting away from it all and relishing in the picturesque landscape surrounding you. I suppose our unmet longings could encompass many of things–having a child, the perfectly toned body, great wealth or fame, a different past or upbringing, beauty and thinness, and the list goes on and on.
But for me, my answer grabbed me and exposed a part of me that rarely gets exposed. I confessed to my husband (and now to y’all) that my unmet longing that particular day was love & affection. Strange, you may say. Over the years, I’ve learned burying the deep longings of our hearts is not a good thing. Doing so begins to shut our hearts down. We can quickly fall into a hectic, “get on with life” mentality that translates into busy accomplishments. Go. Go. Go. Do. Do. Do. We’re often afraid to go there…go deeper…because we are afraid of what we might discover. But I would challenge all of us to not let our internal world roll on unrecognized and unshepherded.
Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Jesus really does care. He wants to meet you there…at the center of the pain, and wipe away every tear. He will listen to your silent cries. Take heart, my precious friend…and let Jesus meet you there.
Psalm 63:7-8 “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.”