“Lesser loves never fail to disappoint.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 13, 2021
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Before I married, I was nearing the end of my childbearing years, when grief gripped me. I had heard of a former, unmarried classmate who became pregnant so she could fulfill her desire to have children. I felt cheated. I had tried to do things God’s way. I had tried to live a life honoring of Him that would lead to marriage, but I was still alone.
In a few desperate moments, I considered getting what I wanted at the expense of obeying God, because the ache in my heart for children was pushing me to the edge of obsession.
In those moments, I believed that fulfilling my desire would relieve my longing in ways that God couldn’t. I’m thankful that I took my feelings to God through journaling. He used putting pen to paper to set me straight and reminded me that He alone is enough.
May 21, 2009
Every now and then, my faith is washed away in a torrential downpour of longing. In this stormy ache, everything I have learned about you, who you are, remembrance of what you have done in my life, and the truth of your love for me is washed away in a flood of desire for satisfaction—for something or someone that promises to put an end to my longing.
In these moments, when I have forgotten you, when I don’t believe you are enough, I am most vulnerable to compromising what I believe, of laying you on the altar and killing my relationship with you for my own dreams, hopes, and desires I believe will satisfy.
Dreams, hopes, and desires such as love, intimacy, romance, children, sex, comfort, companionship, and significance.
When these things dominate me, and I feel that I must have them to save me, it’s because I doubt that you are enough. Doubting you, doubting your love, the doubt beckons me to trade you for an idol, a lesser love. But if I let you go, what do I have? Like the Psalmist, I ask, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” Who in all of earth, all of my city, all of my home, and all of my bed at night? Whom have I but you? No one. No one compares.
No, I will not kill my relationship with you by exchanging you for an idol, a lesser love, for my greatest love is you. I will not trade you in for temporary satisfaction. You last forever. Idols and lesser loves do not.
Have you ever thought that if you could just have something or someone you desired that you could be more satisfied than you are with God? Have you ever wondered if another love or desire could take His place, that something or someone else could save you from life, fear, loneliness, desperation, heartbreak, disappointment, or any other ailment of heart?
The problem with lesser loves that have become idols is that they never deliver. They lie and tell us that they will make everything okay. But until we are satisfied in God, nothing else is enough. Idols promise to make life better, to fulfill our longings. But then, once we give in to them, they mock us for having come to them.
If you are in a place in life in which you believe that something or someone can fulfill you and you are feeling tempted to sin, stop. Don’t do it. Call out to Him and if you need to, talk to a professional Christian counselor.
Now that I am on the other side of temptation and happily married, I can clearly see that I would have sacrificed so much if I had not gone God’s way.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1).
Lord, when my longings and desires feel overwhelming, help me to turn to you. You alone are enough to carry me through my season of ache. Amen.
If you are struggling with the temptation to sin to get your desires fulfilled, turn to the Lord and perhaps even a trusted counselor to help you deal with your grief.
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