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Dutiful, faithful activity only serves to deaden the heart’s pain.  It would be easier to just give in and do our Christian duty, but the truth is that this emptiness, this longing, is normal to the lover’s life.  Away from our beloved we naturally feel a longing, a desire, an emptiness.  The only way I want that desire, that longing, to go away is when my Lover returns to take me into his presence as his own.

I long for the same companionship that Adam and Eve experienced in the garden while walking with YHWH.  This is what Jesus came to restore.  Now he has gone away to prepare a place for us, and one day he will return and claim us for his own.  And that day is what I long for, and that longing is the source of my discontent.

I have finally decided that I’ve been experiencing the loneliness of a heart away from its Lover for several years now.

At first, I thought it was probably just the condition of middle age man.  The restlessness of knowing that most of what I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime would never be achieved.  A grief, perhaps, over a life gone astray.

Last year, I began to think it might be the burnout I experienced following those intense years of leading the Burke Road church through very difficult times.

I realize now that all the work, all the activity, was only an attempt to drown out the cry of my heart longing for its True Lover.  Longing for a relationship with Jesus that goes so much deeper than mere Christianity. 

Through years of conditioning, I’ve forgotten (if I ever learned at all) how to be a lover.  I would really feel more comfortable if I were just a servant.  That’s what I’ve tried to be.  I might be able to learn how to be a friend, for friends still “do” for each other.  But to be a lover?  Even more, a pursued lover?  It may be more than my heart can bear.

But I know now that it is what my hearts needs — and even longs for.

August 2017
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