I reached for my Bible this morning searching for more of God. Lately my appetite for the Lord is insatiable. But please don’t think it’s because I’m so godly. I’m not. I’m lonely and feeling lost. This has created a new hunger for God.
I have a preconceived notion that being hungry for God grows from having a well-conditioned spiritual life. Maybe you have that same idea too? We see a very “together” Christian woman who has a vibrant faith, serves faithfully and productively somewhere fantastic and diligently tends to her family and/or work. That’s the first picture I see when I think about someone who hungers for God. God is reshaping my perspective.
I have been studying 1 Corinthians in my time with the Lord. Paul, the writer of this letter, is trying to convince the Corinthians to leave behind the wisdom of the world and seek the wisdom of God. They had been acting in a very world-centered way and he wanted them to know the mind of Christ and live accordingly. He writes,
“Don’t you realize that all of you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (I Corinthians 3:16,17 NLT).
That last line stopped me in my tracks, “…For God’s temple is holy and you are that temple”. I am holy? Wow, I didn’t quite know how to process this. No Lord, I’m lonely and lost, remember?
In the quiet space that followed I began to wrestle with my feelings. My life feels out of order. I am in a time of transition and not a lot of things are making sense. Without thinking, I naturally compare myself to so many other women. Feeling purposeless will do that. It seems all around me are women who look and act great with exciting and fulfilling lives, families and work. Just as my thoughts ramble down this self-pitying road I feel a sting in my soul. I am guilty of envy and jealousy. I’ve followed the rabbit trail of my sin to this desolate destination.
I realize something from 1 Corinthians 3. Paul was trying to pull the Corinthians perspective out of the world and into God’s mindset. Being a Christ follower means swapping out our instinctive world-centered thinking for Christ’s thoughts. Again, I felt a sting in my soul. But this time it wasn’t painful. It was hope-filled. My loneliness creates a hunger for God, but my own instincts are to compare when I feel this way. Jealousy and envy can never help me when hurting. God sent hope this morning. He called me holy, like Him. Even though I’m not perfect, I can adopt His thoughts for my own in this season of transition. This is His gift to me (and you).
Yes, I still feel lonely and lost but my thoughts have shifted. No I don’t have answers yet but I don’t have to compare to cope. Instead, I listed attributes of God: enduring, wise, purposeful, present, able, willing, strategic and faithful. This is the perspective I want in my day. Knowing this God is with me, working in my life even when I cannot see what is around the corner. This is what I believe He invited me to this morning when I reached for His words and what my loneliness revealed.
“The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.” (Psalm 22:26)