The Daily Grind of Desiring God

This is what I desire these days of seeking and hoping for healing of my own brokenness: I want to be healed. I want to desire God. I want to WANT TO again. What gets in the way?

Let’s see…I could blame my kids. They’re always running around acting like wild animals, and I feel like I don’t have any brain cells left to even think about deep things like desiring God. Then there’s technology and social media with its shiny promises of the instant gratification of numbing my anxiety about my own life by being in the know about who sent their kids to school today and what they had for dinner. Then, instead of desiring God, I’m desiring a hamburger and a different life. My to-do list could be a culprit. Who’s got time to sit around seeking Him first when I’ve got fifty things to think about doing today?

When I’m not feeling it…not desiring God…I want to listen to the voice that says “give up, run & hide, it’s not worth it, you’re unloved.”

But I’m reminding myself that nothing is ever quite like it seems. The people I’m comparing myself to don’t have it all figured out, aren’t as confident in real life as they are on the internet.

Desiring God seems like such a lofty notion and my answer feels too simple to say “Yes, I’m actually doing that today.” But I am. I have a deep sense that we wouldn’t be able to be here and do what we do (any of us…anywhere…) without His ever-present help because we always seem to be in need. I sense his angels around my children, his hand aligning my paths and His Spirit whispering encouragement, even when I’m not trying that hard to hear it.

The bare bones of desiring God is being mindful of God, wanting His presence to be with me all day and caring about what He wants and what He’s about. And I know He’s all about loving us. And I’m graced by His sustaining Spirit when I make the effort to pay attention, waking up each morning truly wanting to see his glory in my life somehow, whether it’s in the shape of a perfectly unique snowflake on my glove on a gloomy winter day or in the lifting of a dark mood after pouring out my heart with ink on paper that turns to thanksgiving.

But sometimes it feels like chasing the sunset, stumbling upon his glory when I least expect it…driving home from an unplanned errand, looking into the rearview and noticing the most dazzling, intricately painted sky, like it was put there just for me to notice it. Other times, I have to seek out the sunset…intentionally planning my day just right and climbing up a mountain for a good spot to see the glory. And the reward is sweet.

It can also feel like holding on to the front porch while a tornado blows the rest of my house away. When the cyclone winds finally settle, I look around and realize I didn’t need all that stuff anyway. A blank slate can be a relief and God gives it to me as a good gift, a chance to start again, a new heart with which to desire Him.

God wants to be desired, so we can pray “Lord, I’m not feeling it right now, and I don’t know how to even find the motivation to want to desire you, but I know you’re with me always and you’ll never forsake me. I know you can work miracles in my heart and give me the desire to desire you!” And I think that’s the best thing!

There’s nothing flowery or ground-breaking or mind-boggling here today, only plain and simple stuff. But isn’t that where we often find Jesus? Among the ordinary bread and wine of the day? I pray you’re able to ask for the longing to long after him if you’re trapped in a place of doubting you still have the ability to desire God. He’s the lifter of our heads, the lover of our souls and He’s always there to lead you on.

What does your daily grind of desiring God look like today?

10 Comments

  1. Sherry Yoder October 2, 2016

    I can certainly relate to today’s post. I struggle with the same distractions as the author, but my main thought is not that God doesn’t love me, but that spending time with Him won’t make a difference in my life. That’s the lie that I believe. In addition I think I want the longing to come back permanently. It’s probably not that simple. It’s an ongoing struggle. Still haven’t figured this out. If it weren’t for the presence of my husband, weekly fellowship at church, and reading spiritual articles on the internet, I wouldn’t get much spiritual input.

    1. M'Lynn October 3, 2016

      “I think I want the longing to come back permanently. It’s probably not that simple. It’s and ongoing struggle.” It seems to me that instead of getting down on myself when I don’t have all the feelings of longing for God as the deer pants for water, if I just accept that as the current reality and stop trying to hide from it, the Spirit can come and work. So, I’m thinking you’re on the way because you’re able to admit where you are! And a theme from Amy Young’s book “Looming Transitions” also comes to mind: during certain seasons spending time with God will look differently…so give yourself permission to see what that looks like right now and stop feeling bad that it doesn’t fit inside some pre-determined spiritual box. Not to put down spending time in the Word in any way…but when it’s not happening, it’s not happening. And we can either get down on ourselves and sit there or look to God to bring us back to communion with Him…and thankfully He’s so masterfully creative He can do that in so many different ways! Thanks for sharing, Sherry. I’m praying for you!

  2. Brittany October 3, 2016

    Such a timely post. Thank you, M’Lynn! My heart has been cold and I’ve got quite a list of things to “blame”. But my prayer this morning was just for desire. Thank you for this encouragement.

    1. M'Lynn October 3, 2016

      Goodness, Brittany…I know!!! The list is long. I’m amazed we serve a God who can give us the desire to desire Him. His goodness is beyond comprehension.

  3. Grace L October 3, 2016

    Thank you so much, M’Lynn. I can truly resonate with what you have written and I like the suggestion you made:
    “God wants to be desired, so we can pray “Lord, I’m not feeling it right now, and I don’t know how to even find the motivation to want to desire you, but I know you’re with me always and you’ll never forsake me. I know you can work miracles in my heart and give me the desire to desire you!” And I think that’s the best thing!”
    I join you in praying, “Lord, give me the desire to desire You above all other things in my life.” I am encouraged to do so all the more now.

    1. M'Lynn October 3, 2016

      Thanks for joining me in prayer, Grace. It’s good to hear from you today! I’m excited that He’s going to answer you in wonderful ways.

  4. M'Lynn October 3, 2016

    And…One more thing…I wrote this a little over a month ago, and I can tell you that I’ve seen God answer my own prayers for the longing to long after him. So writing it then and responding to it now gives me hope that He’ll do the same for anyone reading this and wondering if it’s even possible. The past month hasn’t looked anything like I thought it was going to look, but His presence has been with me and He hasn’t given up on me!!!

    1. Grace L October 4, 2016

      Thank you for sharing more, M’Lynn. It is so encouraging. I have been praying for this for quite a while myself. I read the Daily Devotional from John Piper and am continually challenged and reminded of Who is the greatest and most desirable Person in our lives. I am glad to know that I am not alone in this challenge to make God first and to desire Him above all else. It is a journey and a process, and as Sherry shared, it is an ongoing struggle, whether we are on the field or back in our home country. May we all know the joy of loving Him the most and desiring to know Him and love Him!

      1. M'Lynn October 4, 2016

        Hey! Too cool! I have the “Solid Joys” devotional app (John Piper) on my phone and it has AMAZED me this past month of how exactly the scriptures shared on certain days have matched up with my specific challenge!

        1. Grace L October 4, 2016

          Yes, that is the same devotional I read every day, except it comes into my email and I open it up on my computer. I love it, am inspired and encouraged, and am also very often challenged.

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