Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Soul that yearns for love

What is love? I bet that the next line you thought of was "baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more". right? yeah.. nothing like really bad 90's techno to make ya laugh eh?

I've been reading a book lately called Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus. Basically it's a journal-style book broken down into 3 categories: love, destiny and meaning. The section on love was so amazing. We often hear that God is love (1 John 4:7). To my facebook friends you have seen many quotes about it lately. I will leave you with a few in a bit, but moving on:

What IS love anyways? emotional attachment? a deep respect? romance? Erotica? It can be any of said things. In a nutshell, all of us want to belong somehow, we all want to belong to a community because even the lone wolves seemingly run in packs. Contact with the real world-it's not optional; it's essential. We are created for relationship. We are born for community. For us to be healthy, we must be a part of others. Independence is one thing; isolation is another. The more we live disconnected lives, the more indifferent we become to the well-being of others- Erwin MC

We often ask ourselves the question-does anyone really care? Like REALLY care? Most come to the conclusion of No. Such a tragic place to live in. I've been there, it hurts like none other. A feeling of seclusion, loneliness  depression and hurt. Some believe that feeling never ends. So you join the disconnect, and seek to end the darkness by any means necessary. This also means suicide: a dark place to be, and not the resort that should be taken. I admit I thought of it not long before I made the choice to follow Jesus, but I turned it down for various reasons. 1) I knew it would wreck my family. 2) I knew that there were people who cared, I just didn't see it. 3) The Holy Spirit.

Back on love: I long for romance. I can be a little cheesy at times and don't care much for chick flicks (because of their phony predictable outcome)  but I like a story of a redeeming love because it reminds me of the boundless love Christ has for the world. I long for a girl to love me that unconditionally (forgive me if this goes far, but I digress). The loneliness about not belonging to someone cuts very deep, especially since two of my ex's left me for another with no legitimate explanation.

When I see many of my friends enter new relationships, propose, marry and have kids and I admit I am slightly envious of them but very exited for them as well. Is it so wrong I want that? That I seek the attention of my possible future wife? And soon? Maybe before years end (not engaged but dating of course).. or what ever God's timeline is. Such things have shattered my manhood, making me rather timid and weak, also shattering my world view on God's precious women.. I wrestled with trust issues with them for a while afterwards. I'm mostly over it.  I'm seeking God but honestly have my doubts. I've failed God when it comes to love with something that is opposite to it. Not hate, but lust. The human heart is not meant to be a container for both hate and lust. Love embraces and leaves no room for violence. 

To close this off, I leave you with a few more passages from Soul Cravings

All of us know how cold it is outside. It is almost unbearable out there. Especially when we're alone, isolated, lonely. You were never meant to be........alone

Love is not a four-letter word
All you need is love
God IS love.

I seek after His love, and long for hers. Wherever she chase is making me weak. Give me relentlessness Lord!! I wait on you!


  1. We all feel this way at one point or another. We're all in the same boat. All human. In my life I've found that things turn for the best when I turn to God. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

  2. Hmm, because I love being contrary, I'm going to respond to the above comment, but in all due respect to other people's opinions.

    Sure, that verse is great. But what does that say when you see other people who are not seeking first the kingdom of God and getting what they want, and are so bleeding happy? If you take that verse, it brings this whole thing to a checks and balance system. You're not getting your heart's desire because you're not a good enough God-seeker. How many of us single people have wrestled with that thought? Well I've come to this conclusion. Sometimes you don't get the desires of your heart, no matter how much you seek. I personally need to get over the attitude that because I'm a professed Christian I should get whatever I want and soon, because doesn't God want what's best for us? And if I may ramble on further, some people may say, "well maybe God doesn't want you to be partnered up," and my response is, "dude, 'man is not meant to be alone.'" "Oh," you may respond, "but you're not alone. You have friends and family and co-workers." And then, probably because you're happily married while giving me that response, I get out of the conversation, because how could you POSSIBLY understand where I'm coming from.
    What the heck am I trying to say with this?
    1. How can you turn to God when it's God seemingly withholding this from you?
    2. If this IS a system of checks and balances as some verses make it out to be (and fairly, other verses don't), am I not better than the "heathen" down the road who is deliriously happy with their family? Should I not get all that too?

    And WHY OH WHY!!!!! is Christian culture so attached to the idea of one not being whole until they are paired up? If that stops, I bet this whole notion of "needing" romantic love, envy, whatever will come down notches.

    That being said Jamie, I have made it to the place (surprising I know, considering the vitriol I just spewed), that I am happy I am single. Cliche as it sounds I have many Christian friends that are married and so effed up/unhappy that if that is marriage, I want to stay the hell away. (Side note [sorta]: how many of these failed marriages happened because they got married just so they could have sex?) Also, 99% of Christian guys are snobs...just saying.

    I have seen more examples of love from platonic friendship and sometimes out and out strangers than I have ever seen in any married couple. Period.

  3. Part 1/3

    Hi, Kim, it's Matt. I understand where you're coming from.

    You and Jamie know me very well and when I say we're all in the same boat, I mean it literally. I'm 31, wish I had a girlfriend, let alone being married, and have struggled a lot to come to terms with God's Word and the way we should live. Jamie has been a great friend for many years, an excellent example to me, and wasn't willing to compromise certains views when I had (I've since come around).

    I bring up that verse for two reasons. The first is that it has been from actual, painful experience that I am learning the truth of it. Second, I've learned that focusing on God, instead of ourselves, allows us to get out of our own way. Sometimes we're so tangled up in the stuff of this world that we end up hurting our relationship with God. A damaged relationship with God will always leave us damaged in other relationships, too.

    By the way, if I throw out scripture here and there it's only to point to an actual authority since I have none. God's Word is a beautiful, heart-rending, soul-piercing message of truth to us, and from one we can believe.

    The bible talks about those people, those who don't seek God and yet appear blessed, they are those whom God "makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)

    Job is the go-to guy for someone who followed God and had great evil done to him. We should feel right in identifying with Job in our grief but the message of Job's life, and the character of God revealed in the book, is far more powerful than dwelling on the hurt. God cares, will not let you be utterly destroyed, and already has plans for your good and restoration: "I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" (Psalm 27:13-14)

    To be continued...

  4. Part 2/3

    "He's not a tame lion." (Mr. Tumnus) God tells us, Himself, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

    What we think should be happening and what we think is best for us may not be what God, who is all-knowing, *knows* is best for us in His all-encompassing view.

    It's certainly not a checks and balances system. "What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?" (1 Cor 4:7) God gave everything for you and me, what are our good deeds to that? "...all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) The truth is we were "bought with a price" (1 Cor 6:20) and have no right to ask for anything.

    The amazing thing is, He wants us to. How loving is that?! "Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." (John 14:13-14) (see also: Why aren't my prayers answered?

    I think you're on the mark. Sometimes we *don't* get the desires of our heart. I believe that's God saying "no" or, more likely, "not yet" because He wants to do good by you: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28). He's actively searching out those people: "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him." (2 Chronicles 16:9) Even when He says "no," because He knows everything He could only mean "no, that wouldn't be good for you now, I have better in store for you."

    You're right about getting over the deserving attitude. God's love is a perfecting love, not a pampering love.

    I believe "man is not meant to be alone" is meant to be taken in the straight-forward manner that it appears in Genesis: Man needs woman and woman needs man. There's a hole in our hearts there that only the other can fill. But the deeper truth of that relationship is only the foreshadowing, the fore-taste, the earthly example of God's heavenly love towards His people. Both are a good and right desire.

    The bible is clear that God wants to bring amazing blessing to each of us. The entire love story, between God and Israel, still ongoing, echoes from the dawn of time about how we should live and what God promises those who choose Him.

    To be continued...

  5. Part 3/3

    I'll take a stab at your questions,

    1. "How can you turn to God when it's God seemingly withholding this from you?"

    Try him: "Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need." (Malachi 3:10) While this speaks specifically of tithe, the principle is there throughout the entire bible that if we just follow God, He will bring about His promises of good things:

    "And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:9-13) Remembering John 14:13-14 ("Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do...", I'm confident in asserting God's good plans for us not just in the next life but also in this life, "in the land of the living." (Palm 27:13-14)

    2. "If this IS a system of checks and balances as some verses make it out to be (and fairly, other verses don't), am I not better than the "heathen" down the road who is deliriously happy with their family? Should I not get all that too?"

    I hope we're on the same page about it not being a checks and balances system. What could we possibly give that would shift the scales in the slightest?

    To be continued

  6. Part 4/3 (wups heh)

    As to the happy heathens, as my mother used to say, "everybody has something."

    Those who don't know God have no meaning and they're often trying to fill that gap with things on earth they believe will bring meaning to their life. Family, friends, work, success, money...all good things but nothing that can bring fulfilling, satisfying peace and meaning like the relationship we have with Jesus.

    "And WHY OH WHY!!!!! is Christian culture so attached to the idea of one not being whole until they are paired up? If that stops, I bet this whole notion of "needing" romantic love, envy, whatever will come down notches. "

    Well, I don't believe anyone who says they don't need a friend or a lover. The bible tells us differently as you mentioned from Genesis.

    "That being said Jamie, I have made it to the place (surprising I know, considering the vitriol I just spewed), that I am happy I am single."

    With all love and grace intended, I don't know, this post speaks very differently than being happy about being single. I can be happy about God's *Will*, because it's always good, in my being single but I think it's a big step to saying I'm happy about being single. The key here is to submit to God, trust Him, and wait for Him, believing that He has your good planned out for you as He promised. He can see it from here. ;)

    My experience with married couples and Christian guys would differ. By Christian, I mean more than in name only. Even *in* other men and women, "seek ye first the kingdom of God." Find a man or woman who understands this and you'll find something special.

    "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, et I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:25-33)

    This is not easy. I don't have it down yet and probably never will. But I know it's the truth in spirit despite what my flesh might say.

    Do what you can, and pray that God will do what only He can.

    (Taking inspiration from Paul,) I am convinced that the things going on in my life now are not to be compared with the things God has planned for me in this same life. When the day comes that I'm waiting for, no amount of past pain or sorrow will seem too much to have paid to reach that day.

    PS. Always True by James MacDonald is an amazing walk through the scripture for God's promises. It's available in podcast (or was), mp3, cd and book:

  7. I appreciate the feedback peeps. This is an old one lol.. I am still sick do death of bachelorhood. It's time for that to change