Learning to love and desire God again
My prayer, Father, help me to hunger for you, was answered.
A couple of years ago, I had a difficult heart-to-heart with the Lord. Several areas of my life had come to a standstill. I had a book to write and was getting close to deadline, I was struggling with my weight, I wasn’t sleeping well and there were battles in my heart wearing me down. I was fizzling out before I was anywhere near completing the things God had given me to do. After 32 years of trucking along as a Christian, my engine was broken.
My story is not unique. Perhaps you’ve been there yourself. I once heard an audio clip of Keith Green, the legendary Christian songwriter who died in 1982, introducing his newly written song “Oh, Lord, You’re Beautiful.” He explained that, a few days earlier, he had prayed: “God, you’ve got to do something about my heart. A lot of time has gone by since I met you and it’s starting to harden up. . .I want to have skin like a baby on my heart. It’s starting to get old and wrinkled and calloused.” Green recognized that he had started well but he wasn’t on track for finishing well.
Unarguably, good beginnings are important. For much of my life I struggled against the tendency to leave things until the last minute—assignments, getting ready to go out, application forms, etc. Others confidently and energetically jump into projects but don’t finish what they st. . . (You get the idea.) This is worse than procrastinating! The initial enthusiasm is admirable but, if the job doesn’t get done, it’s rather pointless.
Starting well is great. Continuing well is even better. But nothing beats finishing well…especially in our spiritual journey. As embarrassing or annoying as it may be to submit an assignment after the due date, miss the bus or be charged interest for not paying a bill on time, these are all manageable, temporary problems.
Sadly, many Christians approach their walk with Christ with a lackadaisical attitude. They may have started with sincere joy and passion but, somewhere along the road, their first love fizzled out.
In the wee hours of that December night, I gave all of it to God and asked Him to help me hunger for Him. I needed to re-learn how to desire Him and love Him. I wanted to want His will more than anything else, no matter how noble. I was getting nothing done, not only because I was depending on my own strength and wisdom, but also because my underlying goal was to feel better about myself.
My prayer, Father, help me to hunger for you, was answered. First, my daily quiet times with the Lord came back to life. In the last six weeks before my deadline, I wrote my book. I began eating and sleeping better, too, and all these changes began a domino effect in other areas of my work, personal and spiritual life.
Have I stumbled since then? Sure, I have. But, as the Apostle Paul said: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
Ann-Margret is a full-time writer living in Montreal, Quebec. Her fourth devotional book for tween girls, Truth, Dare, Double Dare, hit stores in October 2014. Visit www.annhovsepian.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/ann.hovsepian.author.
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