Craving for God
Have you ever had a craving for something? It seems natural, at times, to have an intense physical or psychological desire for something in particular. I’m sure most of us have had the experience of craving a particular food or drink. As a freshman in college, my dorm building was at the edge of campus across the street from Fatburger. Not good. Sometimes, after eating dorm food for too long, some of us couldn’t resist the urge to run across the street and hit up Fatburger. Yeah it became a craving! Now that I’m older, the cravings are different (although I have written about burgers a couple times recently, haven’t I 🙂) but you get the picture. How about you? Is there something you like so much that sometimes you feel you need it? Coffee? Ice cream? Pizza? Perhaps your craving isn’t food. Maybe it’s watching your latest favorite TV show or seeing your grandkids. Whatever it is, it occupies your mind and creates a felt need inside of you. You sense the craving as you go through your day, and it can affect your mind and emotions.
In Psalm 63:1, David speaks of his craving, his intense longing for the Lord. He says “O Lord, You are my God. early will I seek You. My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land – where there is no water.” When he wrote this, David was wandering through the arid, waterless Desert of Judah. He had been exiled. He is without his companions. He is being hunted by his enemies who want to kill him. The land around him is dry and desolate. Hope and strength are hard to come by. Back to the present, how are you doing? What are the current conditions of your life? Are you in the desert wilderness so to speak? If you are, my heart goes out to you. So many people I know are going through extremely difficult times. Life has caused pain, loss, and heartache. Like the Judean wilderness that David was traveling through, life’s journey has taken them into parched and weary places.
But when David says his “soul thirsts and his flesh longs” in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water, he’s not talking about physical thirst or hunger, although that would be understandable. He’s speaking of his deep heartfelt desire for the Lord. He craves being with the Lord so much that when he sees the dry barren desert around him, it reminds him of his thirst for God. The thought of being with the Lord occupies his mind and stirs a strong desire within him. This is why David is “a man after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14). He craves communion with Him more than he desires food and water. David is someone who wants more and more of God. One of the characteristics of cravings is that they often subside for a period of time once we’ve had our fill of whatever it is. But our relationship with God should be different. Like David, who seeks God early and longs for Him throughout the day, we should desire more and more of God’s presence in our lives.
I realize this is challenging because sometimes we may feel like we’ve gotten our fill of God, like we can’t be “spiritual” any longer. But God’s presence can be with us even as we go through our regular day, be it work, running errands, or doing things around the house. I’ve read that if there are times when we feel like we’ve had enough of God, it’s because we don’t know Him well enough. He alone is our life, joy, and strength. Like David, the Psalmist Asaph expressed his desire for the Lord in Psalm 73:25-26 when he said “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” May your craving for the Lord grow as it did for David and Asaph.