I am the culmination of all your hopes and desires.
. . . I have lifted you out of darkness
into My marvelous light.
– Jesus Calling, October 11
What is your heart longing for?
It’s the time of year we start pondering our New Year’s resolutions, and all the things we want to gain, achieve, and experience in the months ahead. We dream about how we could be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled 365 days from now.
It’s easy to create that resolutions list and think, If I could just have this or do that, I’ll finally be happy. We think if we could lose those pounds, get that job, buy that car, then we’ll experience lasting contentment.
But the problem is, we confuse our current desire with our core longing, the message each of our hearts so desperately longs to hear. We hope, plan, and strive, but we never seem to feel satisfied.
I know this feeling well. For years, I suppressed the true longing of my heart: to know that my presence matters. As a long-time Christ-follower, I was well-acquainted with the Gospel story. I knew that Jesus loves me and had died for me, bringing me freedom and fullness in Him. But I was struggling to let that truth fully settle into my life.
I kept falling into the same ruts, feeling stuck and ashamed year after year. I couldn’t grasp the value I knew I had. Frustration, sadness, and loneliness welled up within me, and I became very sensitive to the words and actions of the people around me.
As a pastor’s wife, I couldn’t understand why I felt like my growth had stalled, and why I kept falling into the same pitfalls. I wondered, If I’m a Christian, isn’t my heart supposed to change? Is something wrong with me? Do I have a calling? Will I ever feel truly satisfied?
The Outer You and the Inner You
Though I looked calm and capable on the outside, my inner world was in shambles. I was constantly comparing myself to others, a dangerous game where I always came up short. I wasn’t willing to submit to the Holy Spirit, and I insisted on going about my life the way I saw fit, which revealed my idols—i.e. the ways I tried to satisfy my heart’s core longing apart from Christ.
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. – Jeremiah 2:13 NIV
In Biblical times, people depended on cisterns, man-made reservoirs dug in the ground or rock to collect water. Cisterns were extremely important in Israel because of the long dry season and the low number of natural water sources. But a broken cistern was completely worthless. Cracked rock or crumbling stone could hold little to no water. Storing water in a broken cistern would be about as effective as trying to drink from a cracked coffee cup!
We are all wired to feel, think, and act in certain ways to satisfy our core longing. But when we try to fulfill this unending craving with our own strength, we forsake our Creator—and we’ll always be left wanting more.
The prophet Jeremiah points out the foolishness of God’s people. We look to the broken cisterns of relationships, professional success, material goods, and a million other things to tell us we’re worthy, but they can never truly satisfy us.
Transformation to Lasting Satisfaction
But there is good news! Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection righted all that is wrong in us. His constant presence and steady love are like a compass that reveals our true longing and purpose. In fact, the Bible says compares Jesus to a spring of Living Water that will never run dry and is always there to quench our thirst for belonging (John 4:14).
When we trust that Jesus alone can satisfy us, it unlocks deep transformation and lasting satisfaction. Our thirst is quenched, and we are set free to live as His beloved children. At that point, we can use our unique perspectives and amazing qualities to bless others and bring glory to God.
Rest in the knowledge that you are complete in Me.
The one thing you absolutely need is the one thing
you can never lose: My Presence with you.
– Jesus Calling, October 11
Whatever you are thirsting for today, may you fully believe that you are seen, loved, and rescued by God. You can hope and depend on Him. He intricately created you and knows your every heart longing, and He will fill your cup to overflowing.