By: Tabby RH
“Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.” ~ Jim Elliot
The idea of longings and what they mean has been on my mind and heart for quite some time now. I have my own longings, and I’m pretty positive you have yours, as well. The Most High has gifted us with many legitimate longings: longings for restoration in broken relationships, longings regarding our dreams, desires, and goals; longings for marriage and family, and the list goes on.
Over time, and over this year especially, the Most High has shown me that our earthly longings stem from a deeper Longing: a Longing for Heaven and Home. As is usual with “epiphanies,” I wasn’t the first one to have this insight, haha.
King Solomon put it this way in Ecclesiastes:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” | Ecclesiastes 3:11
The Gray Havens, one of my favourite music artists, said it like this in one of their songs:
“Forever is in my soul, it’s in my veins, and it won’t let go.” | “Forever” by The Gray Havens
Douglas McKelvey uses some stellar imagery that had brought me to tears:
“The shape of that ache for another time and place is the imprint of eternity within our souls...O my soul, have there not always been signs? O my soul, were we not born with hearts on fire?” | A Liturgy For An Inconsolable Homesickness from Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey
Andrew Peterson put it like this:
“The Kingdom is coming, but the Kingdom is here. That’s why we’re homesick, and it’s also why we might as well get busy planting.” | Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson
That last quotation sums up the encouragement I want to leave with you lovely humans in this post. The longings of our hearts are meant to push us to Christ and Heaven. We are part of His Kingdom here on earth and there’s work for us to do before He returns. That work may or may not involve the fulfillment of our legitimate longings. We may or may not marry and have a family. We may or may not write as many books as we desire. We may or may not have a successful small business. We may or may not see all of our loved ones saved. And the list goes on and on.
But one thing is certain: we must keep living whether or not our longings are fulfilled. Like Andrew Peterson said, there’s so much planting to do. The Most High wants us to glorify Him by living our lives to the fullest right where He has placed us, regardless of whether or not it’s where we would like to be.
I’m speaking to myself so much here, as well as to you dear, lovely readers. I’m not currently where I would like to be. I would love to be able to pursue writing full-time and be able to fully support myself financially doing something I truly enjoy. But here in good ‘ol Jersey, the cost of living is high and the taxes are higher, haha, so my vocational dreams just aren’t possible right now.
So I can choose to do one of two things: I can wallow in self-pity and complain about my situation (which is really complaining about the Most High God Himself because He orchestrated my circumstances to be what they are), or I can seek to the best I can with what I have. I wish I could say that I choose the second option all the time but I don’t. In fact, much of the time, I find myself at Option #1. Perhaps not complaining verbally, but just inwardly bemoaning my current situation to the point that it paralyzes me and renders me inactive and unfit for the daily tasks in front of me.
That’s allowing your longing to slay your appetite for living.
That’s allowing a legitimate desire to suck away all of the Joy the Most High holds out to you in each day.
Our longings should never consume us, however legitimate they may be.
It’s true that He has placed them in our hearts for a reason, but that reason may simply be to remind us that this world isn’t our Home. To remind us that we ought to be longing for Heaven and for our Saviour most of all. He never promised that our longings would be fulfilled and I know that’s a tough thing to hear. It was difficult for me to swallow even as I typed it out.
It’s tough because we WANT those longings to be fulfilled and we hope that He will eventually fulfill them in this lifetime. But He hasn’t promised to give us everything we desire. He HAS promised to give us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and for the tasks He’s set before us.
So I’m not saying to give up on your longings and dreams and goals, but I am encouraging us all to keep them in their proper place: second to the Most High and His will for our lives. Work hard to finish your novel(s), or grow your start-up, or love your husband and train your children, or save up for a house or a car, etc etc etc. Bring all of your longings to your King and Father in prayer because He wants you to commune with Him about them. But may we not get so wrapped up in our visions and our goals and our dreams and our longings that we forget about the greatest Longing of them all.
His face is the One we truly long to see. One day, the long Night of this world will end, Dawn will break, and we’ll be finally Home. So when we get to Heaven by His grace alone; may we echo Jewel’s words when he arrived in the Real Narnia at the end of The Last Battle:
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.” ~ Jewel | The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, Tabby RH has had an immense passion for reading and writing ever since she was young. Creating stories and reveling in the beauty of words have always held a special place in her heart. Currently in her mid-twenties, she juggles the responsibilities of freelance editing, working as a teaching assistant at the High School she graduated from, editing for her church’s small-scale publishing company, and working as an intern at Crown of Beauty Magazine. She also has several manuscripts/novels in various stages of completion and she enjoys working on them as much as she can.
She adores Middle-earth and anything Lord of the Rings-related as well as Autumn, coffee, hygge, burgers and brownies, and having Adventures with dear friends among many other things. Her highest goal in Life is to bring glory to her Saviour and King, Jesus Christ, and to spread His Light of encouragement and salvation through words.
You can find her at her blog;
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