Unmet Desire

“It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.” – Aristotle

“God… I believe that You honestly know what is best.  I believe that Your will is best.  If it isn’t in Your perfect will for me to be married, would you take away my desire for a husband?…”

No, this post isn’t about marriage or singleness.  It’s about desire.  Consuming, holy, and unmet desire.

I am a 32-year-old woman who has been a believer for a long time.  I have been in (dedicated to, connected to, and serving in) the church for 20 years. Most of my closest friends are married and have been married for quite a while.  That isn’t my story.  The desire for a partner is a real and pretty consistent trial of mine.  It isn’t always overwhelming.  I don’t spend every day and night staring at the sky and pining for my prince to come…but there are times.  Times when I desperately wish I had a partner to do life with… Sometimes in those moments when my prayers are met with silence, my heart shifts to a different prayer.  I stop hoping that the Lord understands my heart. I stop hoping that He will answer me.  I stop hoping that He hears me.  I stop hoping, period.  And in those times, my only wish is that my unmet desires would go away.

I prayed this prayer a couple of weeks ago, and something strange happened.  God answered me.  When I asked Him to take away my hope and desire, He reassured me that He would never do that to me.  What do You mean, “do that to me?”  

God taking away our desire for good things may actually be an unkindness, similar to taking away our humanity.  That’s what humanity is!  It is the ability, responsibility, and privilege of choice.  It’s the thing that Adam and Eve were granted out of love.  It is also the thing that let them Fall.  They had the capacity to choose what was good or not.  God could have put them in the garden with no way to sin, and they would still be there, running around naked and happy.  With no ability to choose what God offered, they would be slaves… happy, naked slaves.

Sometimes the world looks at Christians like mindless drones following strict rules set by an impersonal entity. But, my friends, the Lord is nothing if not a gentleman!  He isn’t looking for slaves to do His bidding.  He is looking for people who are willing to take His perfect gift.  People who can see His overwhelming, relentless love for them and want to respond with their own love. God is giving us the option, the privilege, and the amazing ability to be more than servants.  He’s giving us the option to be heirs, children, and loved ones.  He will not force us to want what He wants. He will always allow us to choose between what is good and what isn’t.    Every. Single. Thing He gives is good.  

“No longer do I call you servants for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)

Sometimes desire, ambition, and longing seem like a burden.  It would be easier to move along without it.  Obedience would certainly be easier without desire. But there is amazing reward in acknowledging your unmet desires and continuing to follow the Lord. (Luke 6:20-23)  

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went away to pray before He faced the cross.

“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”  And going a little farther He fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”  Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.”   Matthew 26: 38-39, 42

Jesus didn’t pray that God would take away His desire to live!  He did the opposite! He opened His heart to the Lord and confessed His desire to live. Then He gave the Lord the ultimate sacrifice.  “Your will be done.”

Sisters, I am not saying the Lord cannot change our hearts.  If you don’t know the will of the Lord, the best thing to do is always to ask. (James 1:5)  I am just urging you to see your unmet desires the way the Lord does.  Consider Isaiah 30:18. The Lord longs to show us mercy and we are blessed when we wait for Him! Elisabeth Elliot said it better than I ever could:

“God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good.  God’s refusals are always merciful—‘severe mercies’ at times, but mercies all the same.  God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.”  

This earth is not your home, but one day you will stand beside the One who created you.  There will be no pain, no tears, and no unmet desires.

The fact that our hearts long for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.”  -C.S. Lewis

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