Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth
LONGING FOR GOD
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?”
The psalmists cultivated a passion for God’s presence and understood that anything of true value comes from His hand.
Moses’ great prayer in the wilderness was “I pray You, show me Your glory!” (Exodus 33:18).
The sages who wrote the wisdom literature stressed that nothing at all can compare with knowing God.
The prophets were overwhelmed with the splendor and majesty of God and endured ridicule and rejection in order to be pleasing to Him.
Jesus taught His followers to hunger and thirst more for God’s kingdom and righteousness than for anything else.
And the apostles’ deepest longing was to behold the infinite lover of their souls.
Longing to see God and to enter His consummate presence is an oft-repeated theme in the Scriptures and in the writings of the great saints in the history of the church. It’s perhaps the single greatest motivator in our spiritual life.
C.S. Lewis spoke of this longing as homesickness for a place and a time we have not yet visited that is beyond the edge of the imagination. Personally, I’ve experienced such a longing while listening to a piece of music, taking a walk in the woods, or observing a painting. These pangs are fleeting but serve to remind us of our pilgrim status, and awaken in us a desire for our true home—where every longing will be fulfilled at last.