THE INNER LONGINGS WITHIN
If only I had more money, I’d be content. I’d be content if I had a bigger house than this. If only I had someone with whom I could share my sorrows, I wouldn’t be so lonely. I’d be content if I could just find a new job. I’d be content if I could travel abroad and live there for several months.
Have you ever said any of the following? Perhaps you had this thought while watching an elegant car pull up in front of you, passing by a nice house, or trying to finish a task at work that you didn’t particularly enjoy. The thoughts do not have to be about physical, concrete objects, but can also be about life circumstances or accomplishments.
The truth is that we’ve all had similar thoughts. When they have such thoughts, many people believe they are sinful against God. However, such thoughts are not inherently sinful. In fact, the thoughts that arise from time to time are valid and natural. We think of these things because we want to.
Desire as a Natural, Human Emotion
Desire is a natural phenomenon; it is part of what it means to be human. We are all hardwired with deep, often inexplicable, and insatiable desires. According to the book of Ecclesiastes, God has implanted eternity in the human heart (Ecc. 3:11, italics added). This means that there is an enormous void in our hearts that nothing in the world can fill. In our hearts, eternity is a perpetual longing. In other words, there will always be a craving and desire for more as long as we are alive.
Desire is not inherently bad. “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed,” the psalmist prays in Psalm 20:4. God designed desire into us when He created us. It is a natural human experience that God wishes to fulfill and satisfy.
This is a manifestation of God’s love for us as a Father. To ask is to want, and to want is to need. God is a God who desires to meet our needs. He responds whenever we ask, seek, or knock. God is well aware of our desires, and out of fatherly love. Our Lord wishes to meet all of our needs and desires.
He is a God who desires to provide for us. He will not give us a snake if we ask for a fish or a scorpion if we ask for an egg (Lk. 11:11-12) because He knows that what we seek and ask for is legitimate and natural. He will not make fun of or punish us for having desires and expressing them.
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