Every now and then, I get this strange feeling inside. It's not a physical hunger, though I would say I crave something. It's more like missing someone. Like when too many days go by and I haven't had more than a few minutes to talk to my kids--I want more. I crave time with them, to hear their voices, to listen to their ideas, to hear what has been happening in their lives. The feeling I get is similar only on a spiritual level - a craving for time with God. There is something amazing that happens in my spirit when I pick up my Bible and read a whole book or several chapters at once, stopping to ponder a word or a verse or a phrase. It's not the quantity of the material read that matters, but the time taken. It's when God becomes a priority, a desire, someone I want to spend time with.
I've heard it said that even Christians today are fairly illiterate when it comes to the Bible. And I know lots of people who either don't read the Bible and know they should (producing guilt) or they read it out of obligation. When has any relationship ever lasted that was based on guilt or obligation? We don't treat our best friends that way. Hopefully, we don't treat our families that way either. People we care about are people we want to spend time with.
When I haven't talked to my mom in a few days, I miss hearing her voice. If my husband was out of town on business, I'd want a phone call at least once a day. When I haven't gotten a chance to talk to my closest friends in a while, I feel the absence.
Sometimes I wonder why people come and go from our lives. Was I negligent in caring about their needs? Did I focus too much on myself? Or was the issue theirs alone and had nothing to do with me? Not everyone we meet will want to become close friends. We can't make people like us.
But the great thing is, God already likes us - and loves us in spite of ourselves. He created us for a relationship with Him and then with other people. That longing I feel to spend time with Him, comes from my inner being, and is something He placed inside each one of us. But it's up to us to feed the craving.
Sometimes we fill those cravings with the wrong things. If my body craves something salty and I usually feed it French fries, then when I need salt, it will probably think French fries. If I satisfy my sweet tooth with chocolate, I might develop a chocolate craving. (Not such a bad idea.) And if I fill my life with busyness instead of quiet times with God, my heart will seek to stay busy to fill the craving. What my heart needs isn't more stuff to do, but rather someone to share that stuff with.
We all long for love, but then tend to forget that love is who God is. We crave love because we crave God. To know Him means we have to spend time with Him, to desire Him. Not out of guilt or obligation. But because we want to be with Him, as He longs to be with us.
Do you feel it? Do you sense the craving in your soul for God? If not, just ask Him to give it to you. The Psalmist tells us: "Delight in the Lord and He'll give you the desires of your heart." Most especially when that desire is Him.