August 7, 1988, our first child was born. I’ll never forget it. I think I screamed through the whole delivery – but all that pain washed away when they handed me our little girl.
Mark and I just stared at her in wonder. Abby was so beautiful. We were filled with love and this deep sense of peace. Everything was right with the world. Those early months were full of sleepless nights and diapers and colic and dirty clothes but what I remember above all was bursting with love and joy over this new life God sent us.
That’s what we are all looking for, isn’t it? Love. Happiness. Satisfaction. Delight. Now and then we get a glimpse of it, but most of our lives we spend searching for it. And when we don’t have it, what do we do? We fill ourselves with other things. We get restless. Impatient. And instead of digging deep so God’s life flows through us and bears fruit, we buy fruit at the store and hang it on our branches.
“See me? I’m fine! I’m doing great!” we tell the world. When inside we’re just a gaping hole.
The Catechism tells us, “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for” (No. 27).
Thirst, or desire, is the necessary heart of prayer. God desires us – and so He created us and has reached out to us in various ways. We desire something in our life, and we go to God with that thirst. We need something, so we call on God. We’re hurting, so we call on God. We want companionship, so we speak to Him. We are overcome by the beauty of a sunset, so we seek out the Artist who made it.
In my own desire for God, the most reliable guide I know for finding Him is the Psalms. Nestled in the heart of the Bible, they are at the same time God’s word and the heart-cry of his people. To those who spend time in them, they are a wonderful school of prayer.
I love the way Psalm 1 depicts the person who has directed his desire toward God by seeking Him in Scripture:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers….
I want that kind of rooted, stable, fruitful life.
God, help me to place my desire in you!
©2015 Sarah Christmyer. All rights reserved.
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This is part of a series of posts on Thirsting for God and how the Psalms teach us to reach out in thirst to the One who can satisfy.
Click here for the first post: Thirsting for God
For the next post: The Proper Goal of Desire: God