We fast and pray on Mondays, during lunch or for the whole day, for three things: for God to work in our hearts and change us where necessary, for God to bring men to Him and prepare them to lead, and for the gift of marriage for men and women who desire it.
True confession: I have occasionally gone to embarrassingly great lengths to put myself in the vicinity of some guy who I had decided was absolutely perfect. I wish I could say such behavior ceased after middle school, but alas I found myself about a year ago sitting in a different church just because I happened to know that he went there. And as I sat the in the pew, getting increasingly sheepish about my slightly-stalkerish behavior, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t really after that tall guy in the yellow polo halfway across the sanctuary anyway.
What my heart really wanted was far deeper than getting married. I turned the bulletin over and wrote down the things I was really hungry for: spiritual leadership, finding home, being secure in my identity, having a future, being desired, being found worthy, being found beautiful. And I was reminded again that those things are never going to be fully satisfied by a husband or by any human relationship.
Those are things that only eternal true Love can give. Christ came to lead us spiritually to the Father (John 14:6), to take us to our true home (John 14:3), to give us purpose now and a future hope (Jeremiah 29:11), to pursue lost sinners (Luke 5:32, Matthew 18:12-14), to demonstrate in His sacrificial life and death that we are already greatly loved (Romans 5:8).
This is not to say that the pain of unmet longings should be taken lightly. To the contrary, we need to have the courage to let them do their work: they are pointing us to our most real needs and directing us to the truest deepest surest solution: Jesus Christ. I still have that silly bulletin because it is a concrete reminder of a) how crazy I can be, and b) how quickly I search for substitutes to my heart’s real needs, even though Christ’s sufficiency hasn’t changed.
As we fast and pray on Monday, let’s take all of our mixed up pains and hopes and unmet desires first and foremost to Jesus. Let’s pour out that reality at the foot of the cross, and ask Him to come to us. He is faithful: He can and will work on our hearts!
In His Grace,