In discussions with friends in longing, in waiting, in pain, wanting something to happen, wanting God to change the situation, I hear the whisper, “The answer you want isn’t the answer you need.”
Those things that we want aren’t the solution. I know it, to the depths of my soul, I know it. I know that those things that we expect, hope for, wait for, and want so badly, the circumstances we want to change, aren’t what we need at all.
God knows this. It isn’t like he is an angry parent, holding out on us just to punish us. He is the opposite. He is the loving father who is going to give us exactly what we need when we need it.
He knows our hearts long for things, for good things. For things that we place in a higher priority than him. But sometimes that is why he doesn’t give them to us. That is why we wait. I like to think that all knowing God, has more of an understanding of what I need than I do.
More than anything else, he longs for us to depend on him first. To look to him for the solution, for the supply of our every need. More than we long for the kid, the house, the relationship, he longs for us to put everything we have in him, to place all our bets on him, and go all in.
He longs for us to depend fully on him, to look to him before all else.
Not to say this always looks like this in people’s lives, sometimes our prayers aren’t answered because we live in a broken and fallen world. But often he keeps us in waiting, so that we know what we are actually waiting for.
I see it in Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, Moses, and all over the Psalms. You see it in so many stories in the bible, and the bible as a whole. The waiting and the longing for a fulfill promise, waiting for Christ to come.
And in this time of year we feel it more, don’t we, the longing, the waiting. This season highlights the unanswered prayers, the hurts, the longings in our souls.
Sure, a change in circumstances might ease the longing for a while. It might seem like everything has lined up, but that feeling of discontentment will come back, the longing for the child might be replaced with something else.
Ultimately, it means that I can certainly place my identity in my circumstances, but my circumstances will change and then my identity will be shaken. I need to place my identity in something that will not change, that is the same then, now and forever.
So, I am not waiting in this season of singleness, so that I learn how to be a good wife, or get my crap together, but because He longs for me to depend on Him, to throw myself in Him. So that I won’t confuse the answer to my prayers, so that I will know that it is him that answers and not I as the one in control.
Friends, it is possible that we long for good things, we long for things that God could and will give us eventually. But in that longing and waiting, that is where the transformation of the heart takes place.
With or without the answer to your prayers, He will still be the same God and He loves you no more or less.
More than anything he longs for our hearts to be turned to him. He longs for our lives. In his perfect understanding, he knows what takes our hearts and lives from him. Those things that we want so badly, easily draw our hearts away.
Friends, I write this because I know. I know what it looks like to long, and wait, and hope. I see it in the lives of loved ones, the longing, the waiting, and the hoping that today will be the day that the prayer gets answered.