The God of the universe identifies with you and I.
If you doubt this statement, allow me to explicate.
God understands what it’s like to have longings and desires, even unmet desires. There is a certain ache that accompanies desire, because until it is answered the longing remains, often telling us there is something that is natural to being a human that we’re missing. And so we begin to question whether our desires were ever valid in the first place.
And that’s where lies sneak in. Because they are. Most desires which are unassociated with sin are both natural and valid. Even good. And we have them because we’re made in the image of a Creator in which the phenomenon of longing originated.
I believe there is a difference between our longings being met and finding complete fulfillment. For instance, God is entirely fulfilled within the Trinity. He doesn’t possess the need to find love, beauty, intimacy, or comfort elsewhere. But that does not exclude him from this strong desire to connect with humanity—his creation. And I think that he even experiences pain when our hearts turn from him, when we ignore him, or when we don’t trust him or run to him with our own hurts. Because he wants nothing more than to pour the fullness of his love into open vessels.
Now if you’re having a hard time believing that God relates to us in such a personal way, just take a look at the fact that he came to Earth to be one of us. How could we claim that God doesn’t know what it’s like to live in this messed up world? He actually does, quite literally. I believe that in this way he now fully identifies with us in every possible way, especially given the fact that he died carrying the weight and pain of all our sin and shame. He knows, friends. He knows what you’re going through.
The other night God revealed some specific areas to me in which he relates to us from an angle I hadn’t really thought about in depth before. This is what I wrote down:
While God’s fulfillment comes from communion with the Trinity, his longings point to a desire to share what he has with others and to connect with his creation on a personal level. Also interesting that in the person of Jesus he completely understands the longing for human connection. I believe that Jesus wanted close friends, those whom he could trust to share his heart. And not only as a means to spread his kingdom, but as a way to find companionship with others who know what it’s like to live in this Earth. This is one of the ways he became vulnerable to us.
Jesus even knows what being alone feels like. I wonder how his heart broke when his friends abandoned him, when he lost loved ones such as his cousin John to death, then when the Father himself turned his back as he hung on the cross. Even though he knew it was for a greater purpose, it didn’t nullify the pain. He also knew the ache of looking on at a world still trudging along in darkness because it did not recognize or acknowledge the light. He wept for entire peoples because of how they were lost and hurting.
He knew what it was to be homeless, to be a wanderer, to be separated from his parents, to cling to his Father even though he couldn’t physically see him, and to depend on him in trust, even when misunderstood by the world.
So whatever you face today—whether it is circumstantial or just coping with unmet longings and difficult emotions, know that the God who made you knows what it’s like, and find comfort in that.