John, my husband, took our youngest son kayaking several months ago. Being Andrew’s first experience he was tentative, at best. No sooner than pushing off from the shore, the kayak capsized. Paralyzed with fear, it took an enormous amount of coaxing to get him back in the boat for the remainder of the trip-some two plus miles. Prior to the spill, Andrew was sitting on the rear of the kayak, but after the spill, John drew him into his lap.
Later, riding home in the car, Andrew told John that when he was 6 years old, he wouldn’t cry anymore. John assured him that it was okay to cry and then Andrew spoke in a way that momentarily stopped the rhythm of John’s breathing. He said, “I will only cry out to God. That’s what I did, daddy, when the boat tipped. I cried out to God and asked him to keep me from drowning.”
How does a 5-year-old boy know to cry out to the Lord and beg for his intervention? Most of the time my knee jerk response is to grasp for meaning. His was to cry out to the One who is the source of all things meaningful!
We were created with a longing. This longing tugs at our spirit and reminds us that this place is not our home, and earthly pursuits are not our gain. A craving-a great or eager desire…a yearning to fill the empty spaces-was placed inside us as we were knit together. We have a God shaped hole and if we’re not careful, we will attempt to fill this hole with the closest thing within our reach. To justify the unexpected circumstances, or the irrational response of anger. To be noticed, to be famous, to be extraordinary leaders, teachers, or mothers.
I confess my own vain attempts to fill the hole/longing with the silly, temporal things of the world instead of the extraordinary love and presence of my heavenly Father. Next time my “boat” capsizes, I pray my mouth is quick to cry out for my Father’s intervention…and my hands take a break from gathering deflated life vests.
I know capsizing is inevitable. I know it’s best to search for a seat in my Father’s lap when it happens. I know that the only One that can truly help is waiting for my cry. I know once I cry, He can’t help but respond. I know that hope and it’s what I choose to hold on to…what belongs in that God-shaped hole!
“God, you are my God. I greatly long for you. With all my heart I thirst for you in this dry desert where there isn’t any water.” Psalm 63:1