I’ll let you in on a little secret……for well over a decade now Wednesdays have been “prayer days.” And I’m not just talking ordinary prayer, either, but specifically dedicated to lifting up my children to God. Sometimes I throw in fasting on that day as well, depending on what my “Mom-sense” is telling me. (So, as you might imagine….there were more than a few “teenage-induced” fasting days!)
But before you get the idea that I’m really all THAT holy….I have to fess up and also let you in on what brought me to start the Wednesday prayer days to begin with…..it was pure longing.
From before they were even born I loved these kiddos with a mad passion that only God (and perhaps other parents) understand. And along with that passion and love comes an intense longing for them to be OK……to be happy and healthy and…..all they were meant to be. And when they were children, I had the blissful misconception that I could always take care of them and guide their little feet away from harm and onto paths of peace and security. But that’s not really how this parenting thing plays out, is it? Our children, just like us and our parents before us grow up to be independent thinkers and doers and creations that are unique and full of their own powerful potential. And, the last thing I would ever want to do is stand in the way of all that wonderful growing up! But, still……the longing is there. So, what’s a mom to do with that? Well, I can think of a few different paths I’ve seen others take, but for me, there was a clear choice. All I could do was……give them back to God and pray like crazy!
‘Cause here’s the secret that no one tells you before your children are born (or if they do, we, in all of our pre-child wisdom don’t think anything will ever be too difficult for us and our newly-researched parenting ways.) You will desperately desire the best for them all the days of their lives. You will long for them to be all that they were created to be and you will hurt in your bones when they are hurt. Praying for them has given me a place to deal with the longing, because I know that God longs for them even more than I do! And I feel perfectly at ease sharing my heart’s desire for my children with God…..who created them with something wonderful in mind. And my best shot at “helping” God guide them into that divine plan……has been to just basically agree with God and pray for them. And that, somehow, satisfies this deep longing, and makes me feel like I’m actually doing something productive for them rather than fretting about every little twist and turn their paths may take.
There are lots of other “longings” we may have, such as……
- Longing for restored health
- Longing for a return to “better days”
- Longing for a stable future
- Longing for family
- Longing………..well, go ahead and fill in yours.
I have another secret……my very deepest longing, the one I even hesitate to share for fear it will be misunderstood……is to be with God. And I don’t mean just in a “I believe God exists” kind of way, but to really, truly, face-t0-face, BE with God…… As close and intimate as I can imagine my relationship with God to ever become on this earth, I believe there is another life after this one, and in that place, all of the cares of this world will suddenly be put into the kind of perspective that answers all of the questions and fills all the gaps. And as much as I truly love life, I have a very deep longing for whatever it is that comes next…..because I know God is there, and I so long to be fully present with God!
Longing is a gift. And today I am realizing that the more time I spend with God the more we share the same longings. That puts me (and my longings) in very good company!
What are you longing for these days? You might want to talk to God about that….I can’t guarantee you’ll get immediate or dramatic answers, but I can guarantee you’ll be heard….by the One who longs for YOU.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”