Longings photo

Have you ever had an ache in your heart?

The type of ache that leaves you feeling empty, in pain and discontent. I have.

Usually, these aches are brought on by unfulfilled longings. An unfulfilled longing is like a hole in the spirit crying to be filled. It is consuming and cannot be reasoned with or easily dismissed.

It must be attended to.

God created us with longings. Our desire for identity, value, self-worth, fulfillment, security, love, acceptance, and achievement are longings placed in us by our Creator. Even our need for fellowship with God and others are longings designed to draw us closer to Him and one another.

Hanna was a young beautiful woman. By all standards, she was well off. Her husband, Elkanah showered her with lots of gifts and affection. He even felt he was worth more than ten sons to her. He could not understand her core need. Hanna had a longing that was desperate to be filled.

She was unable to have a child.

To make matters worse, her husband had a second wife who was able to have children. This wife tormented Hanna day and night.

One year when the family went to worship in the temple at Shiloh, Hanna decided to bring her longing to God. While everyone was eating and enjoying themselves, Hanna was miserable. She stood up and went into the temple. In bitterness of soul, she poured out her heart to the Lord. She asked Him to remember her. She vowed that if God gave her a son, she would give the son back to the Lord. After praying, Hanna got up, went and ate and was no longer downcast. She gave her longing to the Lord. This story is found in 1 Samuel 1.

Hanna models how we are to handle our longings. Bring them to the Lord and lay them at His feet. In due time, He will grant us the desires of our hearts. Eventually, God answered Hanna’s prayers and gave her a son, named Samuel. She returned and dedicated that child to serve the Lord. She even had more children afterwards.

In what ways are you driven to meet your longings?

God wants us to bring our longings to Him. He is the only one that can fill the aches in our hearts. He wants us to rest between his shoulders.


Never again will they hunger and never will they thirst; nor will the sun beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to fountains of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:16-17)

For he satisfies the thirsty, and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

Artwork courtesy of S. Timmerman

2 thoughts on “Longings

  1. After my husband walked away from our 20 year marriage, I tried to ignore my longings for another partner. I tried to become cynical and not care. But I realized that it was normal to want a partner. I gave this to God with acceptance of whatever his plan was. In God’s time, the perfect partner came to me when we were ready.

    1. JoAnna, thanks for sharing how God fulfilled your longing. Surrendering and acceptance of God’s plan are keys to finding fulfillment. It is a process that I am still learning.

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