We are in the season of Light. Christ, our Savior and the Light of the World, is born. And yet, for most of us, we are still living in the darkness of our sins and empty longings. Our manger is still empty, waiting for Christ to fill it.
It’s Christmas and how many of us still have that ache inside of us? For me, it always seems to show up even more profoundly around blessed days like Christmas and Easter. This longing. This desire. What is this hunger deep inside of me?
Our longings and hungers often lead to sins of the flesh. Take a look around grocery stores, restaurants, workplaces, and homes and you’ll see an endless filling of voids: overeating, overdrinking, substances, greed, power, self-harm, violence, sex and lust, entertainment, binging on Netflix, and the list goes on.
We are a culture that fills our empty selves up with what the world offers us, while neglecting what we’re really hungering for.
Why? We resist going deeper. We prefer to numb the longing and there are so many ways to fill it up that the world give us. So we fill it up with something or someone. A quick fix. Then, we land in a cycle of addiction and compulsion that feeds our longings. What we use to fill ourselves up is telling us the lie that it will satisfy, and yet our experience shows that it doesn’t - at least not for very long.
Maybe our longings and hungers are messengers. Before we seek the quick fix, maybe we should sit with that longing and break it down. What’s it trying to tell us?
What if our hungers and longings were no longer repulsive, guilty, and dark places that are full of shame? What if they are possibilities for light to break through? What if they are areas of our lives that are unattended to, that are calling to us to change and come into freedom? What if we sat with our longing and prayed for the Light to envelop us?
The Christmas season is a great time to do that.
It could be a hunger for a deeper relationship with God. It could be a hunger to grow in your spirituality or have a more intimate prayer life. It could be a hunger to feel more deeply connected to others and a larger community. It could be a longing to use our gifts and talents to the fullest. It could be a longing to reach our creative potential.
What is missing in your life - at the core?
Only God can tell you what you really desire and need, underneath the longing and hunger you are experiencing.
The answer lies in these questions: What is the real hunger you are longing for? The real hunger under the surface? Where is God trying to get your attention?
That’s where the Light can shine in this Christmas.