Longing for God
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:2
One day my daughter was visiting with our one-year-old grandson. I was getting ready to leave the house on an errand, but as soon as I walked out of the room my grandson began to cry. It happened twice, and each time I went back and spent a moment with him. As I headed out the door the third time, his little lip began to quiver again. At that point my daughter said, “Dad, why don’t you just take him with you?”
Any grandparent could tell you what happened next. My grandson went along for the ride, just because I love him.
How good it is to know that the longings of our hearts for God are also met with love. The Bible assures us that we can “know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16). God doesn’t love us because of anything we have or haven’t done. His love isn’t based on our worthiness at all, but on His goodness and faithfulness. When the world around us is unloving and unkind, we can rely on God’s unchanging love as our source of hope and peace.
Our heavenly Father’s heart has gone out to us through the gift of His Son and His Spirit. How comforting is the assurance that God loves us with love that never ends!
Do you have a hard time relating to the love of God? Many of us think more with our heads than our hearts. John, a disciple of Jesus, is remembered as the apostle of love and referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23).
John wrote more on love than any New Testament writer. But he wasn’t always so inclined. The gospel writer Luke remembers the day John and his brother James wanted to see Jesus call down fire from heaven on a Samaritan village that had turned Jesus away (Luke 9:51–56). Jesus let the two brothers know that their lack of empathy didn’t reflect His heart. Yet Jesus probably wasn’t surprised. Early on, and maybe with a smile, He had affectionately called them “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17).
Yet John is the one who ends up being overwhelmed with the love of God and writes about the importance of loving others (1 John 3:16; 4:8, 16). What happened? Did he recognize the coldness of his own heart? Did he learn from Jesus that our ability to relate to the love of God may depend on our readiness to admit—and to be forgiven for—our lack of love? (John 3:16; Luke 7:37–50).