Longing, what do we do with it? That ache, the ache you carry, how do you carry it, honour it, invest it, live with it?

Longing is hard work.

So hard in fact that many shun the work. Many rush to fill longing with less-than options, with quick fixes and veneers that keep ache away.

I’m dealing with deep longing myself  these days. A strong, quiet, yet shouting-at-me ache.

I know others who are dealing with longing. Caught by an ache that as yet is unfulfilled but just won’t go away. There is no reprieve.

In fact, it grows stronger.

Longing seems to be a lost art form requiring honesty and recognition, faithfulness in the secret spaces of our souls and with great strength and courage.

Longing grows capacity deep within us. Before longing we have these ordinary hearts, ordinary lives, and while there is nothing wrong with ordinary its not always up to the hard task of longing and of aching.

Longing takes us beyond ourselves, beyond our normal, beyond our comfort, beyond anything we’ve ever known.

Longing only asks of us that we carry it. Like a woman pregnant an investment is made in the very core of our being that in turn affects everything else.

Longing demands to be recognized, acknowledged, reckoned with.

Once longing takes hold of us there is no turning back. Longing brings us to courage. It breaks us. It stands us on a sheer cliff where the only option is to keep standing. We will not jump but there is no way back.

For longing opens the soul and mind to possibilities we once never dreamed of. Where before we didn’t know what we didn’t know, now we’ve had a taste and we cannot un-know it.

Longing increases.

I myself once rushed to satisfy longing quick as a wink. I refused to remain in the longing, to taste the ache. Today, these last few years, I’ve come to see that longing is in fact an art-form. It’s a skill to hone and craft and grow.

And rushing to fill our longings won’t hone or craft or grow anything.

And in the rushing we deny longing. In the rushing we push away the work done in aching.

Yet all good things of this world have been set in place by someone who ached, by someone who longed and invested themselves in the hard work of that longing.

There are no instant transformations or freedoms or giftings. There are no miracle ministries or immediate fruit.

Everything we know has been preceded by someone willing to carry ache, to invest in longing, to bear the weight and the pain of it.

This work done in the secret spaces of our lives will reap a harvest at the appointed time. But we cannot rush it. Cannot force it. We simply must bear it.

Carry it well.

Surrender to it.

Allow it.

Come under it.

Let it change us.

What are you longing for today? What ache are you carrying?

Know today that there is nothing wrong with you. In fact, you are about as alive as they come. Longing is the seed-bed of profound things.

It all begins here.

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