Monthly Archives: November 2014

Want God?

DSC_0318By Judy Villanueva

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You.  (St. Augustine)

My eyes opened and I peeked out from under sleepy eyelids to see what time it was…5:00am!  I should’ve gone back to sleep but all I could think of was hot, brown, yummy coffee with cream and sugar!  I had awakened to the prospect of sipping a mug of  “wake me up and make me happy” goodness, so drifting back to sleep was pretty unlikely.  As I sat in the dark waiting for the beep that would signal “the best part of waking up,”  I became acutely aware of a lacking in my hunger for God, or at least, a weakness of fervor compared to my morning passion for a cup of Joe.  Yuck.  I don’t want that to be true, but there it is…the whole, caffeinated truth of it.

How does the soul pant for God?  We have been made for Him and even if we do not believe He exists, our souls know better! 

There is a “sacred place” within us that longs for its Maker, remembers its true home, and yearns to be with God.

It is why, I believe, it matters to us that our lives have meaning.  It accounts for the angst we experience when we are silent, or condescend to sit still.  In the spaces between moving around and being busy with this or that, we can feel our soul hunger for God.  This part of us doesn’t believe for a moment that we “just happened” after a big bang, but retains the precious truth of our origins.  Sadly, it is possible to ignore our soul and after a while, we can become impervious to its longing for God.  I’m not sure there is anything more profoundly tragic than that a soul should forget that it belongs to God.

The image of a deer panting for water is a vivid picture of focused desire, not unlike my morning quest for coffee.  “Wanting” so often is driven by habits and hungers, both real and imagined, so how do we tune into our soul’s desire for God?  How do we learn to sit patiently next to Him, when everything in us wants to squirm away and fill up with temporal things?

I want to learn to follow my soul’s yearning into God’s presence and hold myself there long enough to experience His embrace.

I want to drink in the Lord more fully and not get up until my soul overflows.  I need to slow myself down, linger in prayer, ponder God’s word,  and savor the joy of belonging to God.  His company is what I want to anticipate when I peek out from sleepy eyelids in the morning and He is what I want to fill up with each day.

“Lord, help me to pay attention to the hunger pangs of my soul and learn to want You, as I open my eyes in the morning.  Call my soul to come and teach me how to enjoy Your presence more fully.  Amen.”

What about you?

Did you pant for God today?

Are you aware and paying attention to your soul’s longing for God?

How do you bring your soul to God?

You have been made for God.  He is your home and place of rest.

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Standing on Tiptoes!

DSC_0514By Judy Villanueva

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   (Romans 15:13)

When was the last time you stood on your tiptoes?  How long has it been since you were filled with stretched-out anticipation at seeing  wonder just the other side of eye-level?  Abounding hope.  Not meager or malnourished, but explosive, Spirit-empowered belief in things unseen!  We see in children an unspoiled capacity to be awed, and a readiness to stand up tall and watch for magical moments.  Bubbles and balloons, clouds and caterpillars, flashlights and fairy tales easily capture young imaginations with delight and grant a blessed sense that the world is good.   But growing up can threaten our tiptoe potential and weigh us down with harsh realities that want to crush our joy and energy to believe.  What do we do when we’ve lost our capacity to hope?

Jesus said that in this life we will have trouble and the reality is that disappointments, losses, and unexpected turns can suck the hope right out of us!  If we are not careful, we may find that we’ve traded in our beautiful dreams for a life resigned to unmet expectations.   You might be worn out or too discouraged to hope, but consider that

without the stirrings of believing beyond what we see, the colors drain out of our imaginations and life becomes a flat-footed trudge to the finish line.

If you relate to this at all, I implore you to fight…fight hard and look up!

God  wants to capture our imaginations and reclaim our hopes!  At His side, we can learn to look at our lives with Him and find our way back onto our tiptoes.  He becomes our joy and peace in believing and, as we figure out how to want and enjoy Him, our hearts get rooted in hope’s best soil!  Here, hope is set free with refreshed vigor!  We can hope because our God is a hoper!

He hoped beyond our sin to the cross, past death to a resurrection, and He continues to hope us into His kingdom, redeemed.

God stands on tiptoes…hoping for us!

“Lord, I used to be a good hoper and I confess that life has made me careful in my hoping.  But, I’m not ready to give up dreaming with You and believing You for wonders and magical moments.  Teach me again to hope…cuz I know I could stand on tiptoes next to You!  Amen.”

What about you?

Are you a hoper?

Do you experience the blessings of joy and peace in believing?

Has life made you reluctant to hope in God?

Are you learning to want and enjoy God?

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

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