The Search for God’s Longing

Where shall I go, God? Where do you want me to live? How can I serve you best? What is your perfect plan for me?

image of woman sitting on mountain top, watching sunrise, thinking

These types of questions often plague us because we focus so strongly on what we should do—how productive we should be—rather than what God truly desires for us.

During my college years, the quest to find God’s will for my life was right up there with ‘Which guy should I marry?’ and ‘What should I choose for my major?’

The legalism of my religion taught me that finding God’s will for my life should be the number one focus for believers. It also taught me how to fear that answer, because if I messed up and made the wrong choice, God would make sure I turned out like the bad guy in the Indiana Jones movie who did not choose wisely.

Fortunately, I have learned more about God’s heart since I attended college and struggled with those questions. The deconstruction of those false beliefs has brought me a greater joy in my relationship with God.

Tiny Steps. Throughout my life, I have discovered that God’s will is more of a series of tiny steps rather than a giant quest. When we look back on the years, we can see the direction we were to take as the steps moved forward, stopped, backtracked, changed direction, then moved forward again.

Now as I ponder and journal my way through daily decisions, I begin to catch a different idea coming from the heart of God.

It’s not so much finding the answer to the question, “What is God’s will for me?” but more of a whispered “What does God long for me?”

Longings of the Heart. What are the desires of God’s heart? How can I observe God at work in me, loving me, guiding me, scootching me a bit closer to my ultimate destination?

When I ask what God longs for me, it seems a bit softer. More filled with love rather than divine direction to figure it out or else.

Becoming a mother and raising my son has taught me so much about the heart of God and how he parents us. When I consider what I long for in Caleb’s life, it helps me understand a different focus God might have for me.

Certainly, I want my son to be healthy in body, soul, and spirit. I want his wife to adore him, his children to respect him and love to spend time with him, a job that pays the bills, saves for retirement, and occasionally takes his mother to the Cheesecake Factory. Hint, hint.

But what do I long for him? The question digs deeper.

I so desperately long for him to find that place of wholeness where he becomes the man God created him to be. I long for him to use his gifts and talents in ways that bring joy to him and to others around him.

My mother heart longs that he will forgive me for parenting mistakes I made and understand I did the best I could at the time with the information I had been given.

I long for him to someday look back on his life and say, “Well, that was a good ride. I have more joys than regrets.”

I long for him to attain his dreams, reach his goals, and grow stronger in the journey. Nothing hurts a soul so much as shattered dreams. Please, God, do not let that happen to my son.

Soul Travels. When I soul-travel to this deeper place of finding God’s longing for me, I discover that God is just as eager as I to reach the beauty of a life given to the process.

It is not so much the goal or the answer to the question that satisfies us. It is rather to discover the vulnerable places of honesty within us so we can identify the desires of the heart.

I believe God wants us to pray, “Please. I want this. May I have it, Father God?”

God is the vindicator of the broken heart and pleads our cause as the just and compassionate divine One. God understands our longings because he planted them in us and he sees the celebration at the finish line.

So the next time I am tempted to pray, “What is your will in this situation?” I will instead plead, “What is your longing for me at this moment, God?”

And in seeking the depths of his giant heart for us, we then find hope to continue the journey with joy.

So . . . what do you think God is longing for you?

©2024 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Image by StockSnap / Pixabay

The longing of Abigail’s heart was to be free. Check out her story in No Visible Scars.

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