What To Do When You Long to Escape Reality:: Abiding in Christ {Day 17}

I have no words.

I long for those days, when the Spirit moved me freely, when the words sprung up from deep within, like a fountain refusing to be stopped, giving healing and life to those who read.

But I feel tired. Wiped out. Like there’s nothing left.

And I try to quiet the longing, to pretend there’s nothing wrong.

Sticking My Head in the Sand

I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. And I don’t read fantasy fiction.

Which leaves me with few options to self-medicate when I want to escape my reality. But find them I will.

Given a few moments of respite from my care-giving duties, I binge-watch Hulu shows instead of dutifully working on my book or preparing posts for the rest of my series. I bake blueberry streusel muffins and savor every lick of the spatula rather than sticking to my post-Paleo healthy eating plan. I bury my head in the pillow to block the morning rays rather than get up and say “Good Morning!” to my Creator.

And deep inside, I regret every choice even as I make it. I long for a deeper communion with God, for the spring to come back in my step, for the words to flow freely. In their absence, I hide my head in the sand and pretend it’s not all happening, like my soul isn’t flat-lining from overwhelm. 

I know this sounds terrible coming from someone who’s supposed to be helping other people in their walks with Jesus, but I take comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who has felt this way. (Perhaps you do, too?)

A Universal Longing

As high school seniors itch for graduation, as athletes yearn for the gold, as my little Carissa trembles with desire as she reaches for the noisy hair dryer, as the deer pants for streams of water… “my soul longs for you, o God the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

There is no answer to David’s question, except his own staunch soul-preaching:

Why are you downcast, o my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
My Savior and my God.
~Psalm 42:5, 11, 43:5

Three times he tells himself the same thing. And we would do well to do the same.

What To Do With Your Longings

Don’t mistake this for a pep talk or some self-esteem shots; this is David preaching Truth to himself when everything in his life points to the contrary.

longings satisfied in Jesus (1)


He could try to distract himself with women or wine, and perhaps sometimes he did. David was no saint, as none of us are.

But don’t miss what he’s doing here, as he’s shockingly honest about his feelings of despair: He’s reminding himself of the Truth that’s so easily crowded out by feelings. In essence, he’s saying, “Self, don’t despair. Trust God. He’s going to take care of you.”

David had the clarity of thought to step back and assess his current situation, and instead of fleeing reality, he reminded himself of the this truth: God is good. He will take care of you. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Because some days we need to keep preaching the Truth to ourselves until it becomes the air we breathe. 

No matter what you’re longing for, whether it’s a piece of chocolate, a spouse, a paycheck, a healthy body, or a vibrant relationship with God, preach truth to yourself today.

Because when we take our deepest longings to Jesus, we will find satisfaction in Him.

Day 17 Challenge: Abiding in Christ does not magically take away our longings. Some longings are good. Some are not so good. Some may go unfulfilled. Regardless, take them to Jesus today, and take his Truth to heart.

Father, I don’t even know what to say. I need You, oh… I NEED You. Sustain me with Your presence. Intensify in me this longing for You. And satisfy me with YOU.

This is the 17th post in the series “Abiding in Christ–when reading the Bible isn’t an option.” Check out all the posts here.