I grew up going to a small baptist summer camp – the kind at which your cabins don’t have bathrooms and you sing silly songs around the campfire at night.
There was a song we sang every summer about a little cabin in the woods and a bunny. I’ll spare you all the gory detail, but the bunny knocks on a hunter’s door for help and is let in only to become dinner.
I remember, strangely, LOVING to sing that song . . . it’s the kind you sing over and over again, faster each time until your words are almost unintelligible.
Faster and faster, until we start to forget what we are singing, but the picture of this innocent little song has been unintentionally burned into my mind . . .
It’s so strange the times things pop back up in your head . . . Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about desire.
What is my strongest desire? And, where do I take that desire to be satisfied, fulfilled?
Most of my life as a follower of Jesus, I thought my desires were inherently bad – that if I wanted it, it must be ultimately sinful. I mean, c’mon – real talk. I know myself. I’m selfish and entitled and arrogant.
So, here’s my real fear: God is like the hunter in the cabin in the woods. He calls to me and lures me to him in the moment I cry out to him to fulfill my desire, only to cut me down when I come into the safety of His house. “How dare you ask me for that.”
I fear that God may be cruel.
My experience, the stories I trust, the very scriptures I cling to tell a different story – of a Good Father who gives his children Good Gifts . . . but fear is convincing.
C.S. Lewis says this in The Weight of Glory, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but TOO WEAK.”
Not too strong? Too weak?
When you take a deep look at your desire, what do you see?
The desire for a loving relationship? A desire to make a difference in the world? To be loved? Understood? Admired? Successful? Generous? To see the broken things become healed things? Food for the hungry? Freedom for slaves?
Our desires are a beautiful, messy tangle of the deep and universal need to be loved & valued and the insatiable draw within us to see our world put back together again.
Paul writes to the the church in Corinth, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
We see things imperfectly, like a fun-house mirror – we are all screwed up on perspective and goal. Only God can untangle the mess within us. Only He can draw the poison of our selfishness out to leave the purity of the desires He built within us at the foundation of creation.
And, that desire within you is only the seed – not too strong, too weak, but able to grow when tended . . .
I take comfort in knowing I have NO IDEA WHAT GOD MIGHT DO – how far He will reach through me, how deep He will dive within me. God knows me completely, now.
He already knows my desires – He gave them to me. The risk of not offering them to him with open hands is this: what is weak, may never grow strong.
God gave you your true desires. He can sift out the ones that are not from him. And He will do unimaginably more with our submitted hearts than we could ever dream.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you surrender your desire to God?
He may change it, tend it, grow it – to mean life and freedom for even more people.
I think I’m ok with that.
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but TOO WEAK.” – C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory