Editor’s Note: Pastor Scott Peterson is sharing daily devotions written by some of his favorite authors. The author’s biography and any notes by Pastor Scott are listed at the end of the devotion.
God’s Longing for Us
We are the questing ones, we say,Frost, 1985
searching, groping for our God.
But would that we could know ourselves as he
fugitives, escapees, rebels,
the wanted ones, the longed-for ones.
God is the questing one, the gaunt and tireless one;
he calls and sends us to one another
to speak the wooing Word, the Name,
to break each habit of ingenious evasion,
and gently block all exits
from chastening love,
to listen for each footfall of those strong feet
that even now follow, follow after.
Any consideration of human longings – the hungers of the heart- must begin with God’s expressed longing for us, the people, and his created world. The only safe place in which to think about our complex, elusive moods and feelings is in the love of God. We are mysteries to ourselves and others. Therefore, any attempt to sort out our longings and deal with them wisely can only begin with God’s great act of rescue in the sending of the Son.
We do not distort God’s truth when we say that God SO longed for his world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Whenever we spurn or neglect this loving act, we find ourselves becoming heavy on our hands. Therefore, it is not too bold a claim to say that the first step in dealing with the hungers of our hearts is to relate them to God’s eternal purpose which sustains and upholds the world.
Gerhard Frost (1909 – 1988) was a Lutheran Pastor, a college and seminary professor, and a poet. A student and friend of his described him this way, “…beloved by all who knew him. He had a Lincolnesque combination of strength and quietness about him.” That is an apt description of Gerhard Frost when I met him in 1978. As a guest speaker, he read his poetry at my internship congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Wadena, MN.
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Photo: Okaloosa Island, 2020 By Meredith Kilby