Daily Riches: Putting Painful Longings in Perspective (Larry Crabb and Frederick Buechner)

“First, our desires … are related not only to our fallenness but also, and more profoundly, to our humanness. In other words, it’s okay to desire. Second, when we look carefully at what we deeply desire, we come to realize that what we want is simply not available, not until Heaven. …Both errors in responding to our longings–hiding them in a flurry of Christian activity and focusing on them to find satisfaction–deny the simple truth that we legitimately want what we cannot have in this world. We were designed to live in a perfect world uncorrupted by the weeds of disharmony and distance. Until we take up residence in that world, however, we will hurt. It is, therefore, not only okay to desire, it is also okay to hurt.”  Larry Crabb

“… to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worse–is by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed.” Frederick Buechner

Scorn has broken my heart
    and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
    for comforters, but I found none.
They put gall in my food
    and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”
Psalm 69:19-21 

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are Christians allowed to have emotions like loneliness, sadness, and disappointment? Do you allow yourself to feel these kinds of emotions?
  • Do you try to bury your emotions “in a flurry of Christian activity?”
  • Do you “steel yourself” against feeling “the harshness of reality” by sheer force of the will?
  • Imagine the loneliness, disappointment and heartbreak that filled the life of Jesus. He didn’t let these emotions rule him, but he also didn’t deny or bury them. He offered them to his Father and “let something be done for him” that was “more wonderful” than being strong. He experienced life from above while in this world corrupted “by the weeds of disharmony.” Can you let God do that for you?

Abba, this isn’t heaven, but in my pain I can still experience it.

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For More: Inside Out by Larry Crabb

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Thanks for your interest in Daily Riches! –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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