Longing and Surrender

Apr 12 2024 - Eric Buresh

As I continue my faith journey, one of the things I’ve noticed that candidly surprised me is that I need Jesus more and more the further I go. I’m not sure why, but I used to think it was the opposite. I thought the faith journey was somewhat like a child, who, as they matured, needed their parents less and less. I thought I would gain independence as I grew. The reality is the opposite. I have become more dependent on Christ. I need Him more and more to the point that my highest longing now is to be with Him fully.   

These thoughts reminded me of the words penned by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians -- a stirring expression of longing and surrender. Paul writes, "I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account." Philippians 1:23-24 

These words resonate deeply with my spiritual experience—a tension between yearning for the eternal and responsibility in the present. Paul's longing to be with Christ is a sentiment expressed by many believers throughout history, echoing the deepest longing of our human souls to be in the presence of our Creator and Savior. 

Yet, intertwined with this longing is Paul's recognition of the importance of remaining in the flesh for the sake of others. He understands that God has a purpose for his life, a purpose that extends beyond his own desires and encompasses the needs of those around him. 

This to me is a profound truth—a truth that speaks to the balance between our earthly desires and God's sovereign will. It's a reminder that while we may yearn for the joys of heaven, we are called to faithfully surrender to God's purposes here on earth. 

Perhaps you find yourself in a season of waiting and longing, seeking answers to prayers yet unanswered. I want to encourage you to trust in God's perfect timing. He knows the longings and desires of your heart, and He is working all things together for your greatest good and His greatest glory. 

Even during our longing for something greater, there is a mighty purpose in the present moment. Just as Paul recognized the importance of remaining for the sake of others, God is unquestionably using your current circumstances to impact the lives of those around you in ways you cannot even see. 

I pray for myself and for each of you reading along that we may surrender our desires to God's sovereign will, trusting that He holds our perfect future in His hands. I pray that we faithfully serve Him in the here and now, knowing that our lives have purpose and meaning in His eternal plan. May you find peace and strength in the tension between longing and surrender, comforted in the absolute assurance that God's timing is always perfect, and His purposes never fail.