To feel a powerful desire for (something) is to crave. Synonyms are long for, yearn for, desire, want, wish for, hunger for, thirst for, pine for, set one’s heart on. To live in craving requires the courage of vulnerability and the strength of patience.
To live in craving requires the courage of vulnerability and the strength of patience.
God created us to crave. We are created to crave legitimate connection that fulfills and completes us—even in a place that cannot fill us completely, because we will continue to hunger again and thirst again. We will always have to go back to the well and dip our buckets in again. In as much, then, we all need a well where the water is good for our hearts, and we have confidence that it will not run dry—if we are going to have our cravings touched in legitimate ways. Therein lies our question, “Where is my well?”
In Psalm 63, David expresses highly charged craving with the following words while he was struggling for his life in the Judean desert: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water….On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night….I cling to you.”
We are created to crave legitimate connection that fulfills and completes us.
In this Psalm, David knew that nothing else could fill him but the water of God. He went to the well, knowing that no “Bathsheba” could quench his thirst. He would not sacrifice his craving to lust, an illegitimate form of fulfilling legitimate desire.
He was willing to do what we are all created to do. He was willing to admit his craving, and he was also willing to experience two strengths that allow us to crave truthfully. He was willing to hear, “wait” and “not yet,” trusting that God made him (Psalm 139) and cared about him (Psalm 8).
Our willingness and ability to tolerate “wait” and “not yet” is a marker that separates craving from lust.
Our willingness and ability to tolerate “wait” and “not yet” is a marker that separates craving from lust. We often sacrifice the miracle of our craving being quenched five minutes before it occurs because we do not tolerate trust and dependency in our God-made craving.
I pray that we will grow in our capacity to wait and tolerate the “not yet” of our lives. That we will grow in our courage to crave, finding the courage to hunger for more than we can hardly ask or imagine. I pray that lust will not rule our lives, and that we will face the difference between craving and lust.
I pray that this year, and years to come, we deepen our trust in and dependency on this God who created us to crave all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. I pray that we know he made us, and that his heart is set on us.