My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Our desires impact our lives. Our strongest desires shape our lives. There are compulsive desires that have a way of taking us over until, even against our better judgment, we start organizing our lives around them. Virtually any aspect of our life can become compulsive: eating, drinking, health, exercise, work, physical appearance, sports, sex. None of these is bad in itself, but each one has the potential for excess. Such excess can take us away from God.
The Christian faith teaches a great truth about desiring: God desires us to desire him. This truth has been described in many ways throughout the Christian tradition. In Scripture: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and all your strength.” St. Augustine: “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless ‘till they rest in you.” The Westminster Confession: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” And, the truth has been described in this way: there is a “God-shaped void” that God has created in us, in order to draw us to himself, a void that only he can fill.
The desire for a heart-to-heart talk with God spoken of in Psalm 27:8 (quoted above) has been the great passion of God’s people throughout the ages. They tell us to remember that God is not distant, requiring of us a long and difficult journey to find him, but rather that God is, as Augustine said, “Closer and more intimate to us than we are to ourselves.” We are sought by God long before we seek him, and when we begin to find God we realize that God has already found us.
To even consider the possibility of a heart-to-heart talk with God is to acknowledge the reality of grace. While grace takes many forms, it is always given by God as a means of drawing us to himself. Whether we are drawn to him through family or friends, a life event or what has been described as “the providence of the right book at the right time,” the desire for God is itself a gift given to us in love. Ours is not a God who would coerce us into desiring him, but one who is humble enough to repeatedly invite, appeal, and even plead with us.
I hope you will take the time this summer to respond to our Lord’s invitation to “Come and talk with me.”
Yours in Christ,