I’ve been fasting for Lent–fasting chocolate and shopping and some other things. But whereas fasting usually quickly leads me to a feeling of spiritual renewal and fullness, this has not been true this time. In fact, I have felt quite lifeless, spiritually and emotionally numb, and generally discouraged and lackluster.
I’ve been praying that God would renew my passion and desire for Him–that as I remove things from my life, He would move in and take their place, filling my heart with Himself instead. But I haven’t felt that happening. Instead, I’ve felt that He was just sitting nearby–not ignoring me or being distant, but just not doing anything in my heart. I can’t tell you how frustrating this has been. And foreign. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a season like this with God. He has always been so quick to come to me when I make space for Him.
And then I realized, He was waiting for me to pursue Him. While I was sitting here, longing for Him to reveal His love for me, to move in and fill my heart with His presence, He was sitting nearby longing for me to reveal my love for Him, to show Him that I was passionately in love with Him.
I don’t know about you, but this was a new experience for me. To think that God wanted me to desire Him, and that He was willing to wait for me to figure that out–it was really incredible. Strangely, it made me feel even more desired than if He had been the one actively pursuing me. Because it made me realize that He is that passionately in love with me that He wants more than just to show me His love; He wants to share a love affair with me. One-sided love is never as deep or as exciting as love that gives and receives. One-sided love may evoke a temporary reaction of gratitude and warmth in the beloved; but love that is given by both parties can perpetuate itself. It can grow stronger and more passionate over time. It reproduces and grows and becomes greater, not lesser, as time goes by.
If you’re feeling stagnant in your relationship with God (or anyone else, for that matter), consider making a choice to actively pursue, to show love. It seems contrary to logic, but it is in giving love that we find ourselves fulfilled, far more than in receiving it. What an honor to be allowed to give love to Love Himself!