Recently I was reading the book Unwanted, by Jay Stringer; in which he writes about the process of healing from sexual brokenness. He writes about the need to look at those things that bind us, through the lens of what we really need. In a similar vein I have often asked my clients to push through the surface of their struggles and address the longing underneath. I ask them to try to uncover what it is that they long for at their deepest levels. Usually, with some time they are able to find it.
I believe we were made with longings. The first and most important of those is our longing for God. This is at the core of our being. The problem is that we often mistake this longing for other types of longings, and sadly go about seeking to fill them in ways that they will never be filled. This can send the healthiest of us down the proverbial rabbit trail that leads to dead ends. More destructively, it can create a cycle of seeking the wrong question and finding the wrong answer until we are emotionally/physically exhausted. Worse yet, it doesn’t take us any closer to finding that which we truly seek. The problem is not that we look to have our needs met, it is that we look in the wrong places.
I suggest a different way. I say we begin to observe our desire for things like: sex, companionship, food, success, money as well as many others, and ask what it is that we truly long for. When we do that, I think we will find words like: acceptance, worth, being known, and love. All of these first find their fulfilment in our connection to our Creator but it doesn’t stop there. God gave us one another to help address the deepest longings of our hearts. It is not true, or Biblical that we only need God and no other community. When we recognize that underneath (even the unhealthiest) desire is a healthy longing that God created to draw us to him, we are much more likely to find the answers we seek.