The Longing: A Take on Love

 

What is it that we are looking for? If you could describe what humanity has the biggest longing for — what would that be?

Proverbs 19:22 says it plainly:

What a person desires is unfailing love.

For some reason, that hit me like a ton of bricks this morning.

All of our longings get summed up in this: love.

And specially if you are a woman! God knew this and it is no wonder that he emphasizes husbands to love their wives. He knew how this longing in us could get overwhelming.

Nevertheless, the longing for love is not exclusively for women. It’s a longing that humanity has collectively. A longing for a…

  • Love that never fails.
  • Love that is always there.
  • Love that isn’t selfish.
  • Love that cares.
  • Love that sacrifices.
  • Love that gives.

You can read 1 Corinthians 13 for the way God describes love. But the crazy thing is that it’s not a feeling, a nice-to-have, a passing need. The longing for unfailing love has been placed in our hearts, permanently printed, interwoven with our very being.

And, of course, we live heartbroken, hungry, unfulfilled. Because perfect love is not found in imperfect things. It’s not found in people, dreams or material things. Yet we keep our longing very much alive and we keep looking for this love. Without realizing it, we give ourselves to things in the hopes of being filled and end up with the same longing.

Why?

Because we fail to embrace Love daily. We don’t think about love as a moment-by-moment reality. We don’t walk in love, so we don’t experience love. We don’t accept the Love that is freely given, we don’t look for it and – as a result – we don’t give it either.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

Knowing God means knowing Love. And not our kind of love, but this perfect, unfailing love that our souls long for. That’s the great mystery, the secret sauce. We have a natural longing for God, and nothing else will fulfill that but Him.

The word love is mentioned over 500 times in the Bible. If love is a big deal to God, then it should surely be to us! Let’s look at it practically:

1. God is the initiator

John 3:16 “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

God initiated His plan of love by giving His son for us. Here we learn that love is an act of the will, an action. He forever erased all of our sins and gifted us with eternal life by humbling himself and dying a gruesome death. That was a gift that we did not deserve — the ultimate expression of love.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

So no, love isn’t a fluffy thing. It’s often hard, inconvenient and self-giving.

We have all been gifted with His love already. He initiated. If we respond, we accept His sacrifice and receive His love.

2. We show that we have accepted His love by giving love — first to God, then to people

Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

So many of us are unbalanced on this.  Either we love people and we don’t love God, or we love God and we don’t love people. That’s not right in His eyes.

  • First you love Him. First, foremost, as the priority. Giving Him the best of yourself — your time, your treasures, your talents…your life!

And we are not changing love definitions here. We are still talking about the love that is often hard, inconvenient and self-giving.

We show we love God by our actions. Do our actions reflect that we love God first…or ourselves, other people or our things?

  • But we are not off the hook then. THEN, we are called to love other people.

And we are not changing love definitions here. We are still talking about the love that is often hard, inconvenient and self-giving. (Yes, I wrote this twice. Emphasis intended.)

Again, the equation is lacking if we remove any of the components.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

Loving God and loving others intentionally will enable us to walk in love. As we love Him (by praising Him, obeying Him — note that obeying Him involves loving others –, talking with Him, reading His word, making Him our first go-to “person” and having relationship with Him) we can experience unfailing love. We can have what our soul longs for.

As we give of ourselves to Him and to others, God will continue to fill us with Himself.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16

Although our longing won’t be completely filled until we meet Him face to face, we can experience unfailing love in our lives. It is available to us now. Let’s make it our goals to live in Love!

Prayer:

Lord, I understand that I have a longing for unfailing love, and I know that You are the only one who can give that to me. Thank you for already showing this by Your sacrifice. Thank You for knowing everything about me, for being there even when I felt most alone and for being available to me even when I sin. Thank You for the unfailing love of a Father that waits for me with His hands wide open. Help me experience Your love and help me love others with a love that can only come from You. Please show me ways I can start doing so today. I want to love You by obeying You, even when it’s hard. Help me not get distracted by things that I feel will fulfill me, and help me always remember to run into Your arms. Thank You, Amen.

About Nathalia

I'm Nathalia, a 20-something living in Chicago, centered around Jesus, inspired by words and moved by others.

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