“I just want a baby,” I whispered during worship. Everyone else was singing praises to God, enraptured by His goodness. I mouthed song lyrics with them, but found my mind wandering to daydreams about taking a fussy baby to the cry room. Annoyed with myself, I whisked my thoughts back to reality and began to pray, “Lord, I repent… I do want to adopt a baby, but I want YOU more. Help me to worship you, not make an idol out of the child I long for.”
Have you ever experienced an overwhelming desire?
Maybe you are single and want to be married, or childless longing to conceive. Whatever your longing is—a husband, a baby, a job, a wandering adult child to come to his senses, a light at the end of the adoption-wait tunnel—I want to remind you that there is purpose and beauty in your longing.
As I lean into Jesus with my desires, I am learning 3 things to be true:
- Jesus Sees.
- Jesus Supersedes.
- Jesus Intercedes.
It is easy to get frustrated with overwhelming desires. One moment we feel God doesn’t even notice our ache; the next moment we feel shame for having so great an emotional attachment for a desire that doesn’t seem that important to God or others around us.
That day as I wrestled in worship at our local If: Gathering, I confessed my frustration to God. Graciously, He did not reprimand me. He did not ignore me. Rather, He held me. Memories of Scripture flooded my mind: God seeing Hagar in the desert, Jesus weeping with Mary and Martha at Lazarus’s death. I likely have a wrong view of God when I assume he thinks my longings are silly.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
In our me-centered, instant gratification society, it is easy to get fixated on what we desperately want and do not yet have. Sometimes, this turns into idolatry: making something more important, more gratifying, more satisfying than God.
It is not uncommon to make children an idol. As a mama, I easily find my value in my kids’ adoration of me and good behavior in response to me. My world often revolves around their care and wellbeing. Similarly, as a newlywed woman, I was always searching for how to meet my new husbands desires and needs, finding my sense of security in his attention.
It feels good to be needed. But sometimes our drive to feel important can be so strong that we drift from seeing God as important.
In my prayer about wanting a baby, I confessed, “Lord I want You more.” He is worthy of my attention. He is worthy of my worship.
Regardless of how looming the empty space feels in waiting for the next Rosty kid, Jesus deserves my trust in this: if we never adopt a baby into our family, we will continue to flourish and live an abundant life. Our source of joy is Jesus, not the “yes” answer we crave.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
Sometimes we don’t know the best way to pray about our overwhelming desires. To be honest, I was getting frustrated with the endless longing, the temptation turn adoption into an idol. So I asked Jesus to to help me to stop asking Him for a baby: Lord, would you lessen this desire? Would you make me a worshipper, not a worrier? Would you ease the heaviness on my heart so I don’t make anything in this life more important than You?
You know what? That day, as the worship songs swirled around me, I felt His response so clearly:
No, Becky, I will not take away this longing, this desperate desire. Because every time you feel overwhelmed to hold your future child, you know more about My heart.
I realized that what I feel for our future child is what God feels for the billions of people He longs to adopt into His own family. My heavy heart gives me insight into the weight of desire that moved God to send His Son for our salvation. Christ has endless sacrificial love for people who don’t even know it; my longing cannot even compare to His, but it does give me a glimpse.
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
I am moved now to embrace each pang of longing, and let it guide me to knowing God’s heart more intimately. Then surrender that pain of waiting, and keep trusting God’s good plan in every stage of this glorious adventure of living life to the fullest.
Whatever you are longing for today, I pray you can also find the strength to do the same.
Cheering you on in faith,
PS: Do you know someone facing unplanned pregnancy who is unable or unwilling to parent her/their baby? Would you prayerfully consider sending her/them this link to our adoption profile book (our family story and wishes to adopt).
Thank you for praying for the many men and women and families across our planet who are involved in both placing and receiving a beautiful life through adoption.