“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
I read this beloved verse tonight, and it transported me back to when I had read it for the first time. I was a young lady in my early teens, lost in finding myself and lost in this burning ache to know God. The One who forged the greatness of the heavens and the miraculous cities of my microscopic cells. Those were the romantic days of my life in Christ; when he first called my name and my heart longed to hear more. I couldn’t keep my nose out of his Word, and like a sponge, I absorbed everything I read. How lovely are the romantic days of our faith, when we are full of angst for our Creator and He satisfies our spiritual taste buds with the wonder of him!
I often reminisce through those days in unhealthy ways, wishing that those days were now. I long for those better ones again, instead of rejoicing in these days, too. These days that are full of spiritual familiarity and monotony.
“Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”
Until tonight, my spiritual life had felt like the middle-child years of marriage. At least, from what I hear and witness of those middle years! The season after you have grown past the sweet, romantic days but an eternity away from the seasoned and weathered days of 50 years. My heart and spiritual life felt terribly quiet, familiar, monotonous, and sometimes out of place. I even admit to this middle season being fallow ground to complacency and idleness. During this time, the Lord Jesus had grown somewhat abstract to me. He’s the perfect Prince in the sky, the sinless, sacrificed Lamb who conquered the enemy, death. The universe is in his hands and everything in existence exists by him and for him! He loves me with an unfailing love and has the power to sanctify me into his image. I know this and believe it, so fiercely. But sometimes it’s a knowing like the wonder-filled pages of a treasured storybook.
I have wrestled with applying that wonder with the God who is with me in everyday life. This Savior that once captured all of my heart—who let me taste and see his goodness—has felt terribly quiet. Not necessarily distant, since I can testify to knowing he is with me. Just not near, and very quiet. However, I have not been the pursuer nor the one pursued, that I once was either. It’s like he became two Gods—the lovely, near One who romanced me once. And this One, the quiet, aloof, familiar one. The one who has journeyed a long journey with me, and is just quietly here.
Tonight, when I read Matthew’s account of Jesus teaching on a mountainside, I was reminded in the depth of my soul that both those Gods were the same one. I read these words spoken by the one who is Faithful (promise-keeping) and True (never lying), saying that he promises to fill me with himself if I am hungry for that. And like a husband lovingly romancing his beloved after 25 quiet, complacent years of marriage, I was reminded that the same Christ that I only dream about is the Christ that I know now. The One who is here and has kept his promise to be with me is the one who was with me from the beginning. He is the same. The same glorified and victorious Son, who will make all things new, is with me now. Not abstract, but very alive and with me.
Tears came as I remembered this, and received it for the first time again.