For the past thirty minutes I’ve been meditating upon the prophet Jeremiah’s mournful cries in the book of Lamentations. There’s a strong sense of hunger and desire within these laments; a hunger and a desire for the presence of God.
I’m wondering how hungry we in America really are. I know we’re hungry for cheese burgers and happy meals and pizza, but I wonder how hungry for God’s presence we are. We often see “signs” of our hunger in our inability to set aside serious time to seek the face of the Lord. I wonder how grieved the Lord’s heart is? Listen to the prophet Jeremiah’s thoughts…
“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.” – Lam. 2:19 ESV
Wow. Notice the outright longing for God’s presence in this verse? Notice how this hunger should lead to regular intercession in the night? Notice how the longing is expressed to God through the pouring out of our heart’s like water before the Lord? That simply means that in the same way that water flows in a river our longing should flow before the Lord.
Oh how I want you in my life, Lord. And yet I daily give evidence that I only want you a little. Lord, help me to long for you like Jeremiah longed for you!
What’s also concerning is that I see no one in my direct sphere of influence that longs for God with this type of heart. Sure, a few people will gather here and there to pray, but there is no serious hunger for the Lord like this. Oh how we need the Spirit to come and inflame our hearts!
And I can’t help but notice that Jeremiah’s longing was connected to a concern for the children of his people. Does anyone really long for the presence of God and for the lives of our children? I hear a lot of talk and see very little action. I’m afraid more of us play “church” and play “Christian family” than actually take seriousness the call and responsibility of parenting and raising children in a community of believers. In Jeremiah’s day, children were starving. How much more so in our day?
Again, we need you Lord. You know this. Please, stir our hearts up and inflame us with conviction and grant us repentance! Give us faith to trust You and to trust Your Word! Help us to find our satisfaction in You alone! May we please Your heart as we pour ours out before You because we so long for Your presence!
Thank you for Your mercy, Lord. You are ever faithful. Amen
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.