I have a boyfriend. We have been on and off for the past year and a half. We met at an appropriate yet inopportune time: a few weeks before summer break and only a few months before I would leave for Europe. But, against my initial wishes, we dated anyway.
So we started 550 miles apart, were able to spend a few months together at school, and then transitioned to 4,500 miles apart. He, in my opinion, handled it fine, because he is a guy. I, on the other hand, well let’s just say … I went a little nuts.
I had grown accustomed to his presence, his closeness, and mostly the constant communication we had achieved, thanks to living only blocks apart and the marvelous inventions of technology. If we weren’t together, we were most likely texting or talking on the phone — connected at all times.
Then suddenly that was removed. I was on a different continent, in a time zone seven hours later, and had an inoperable cell phone. I was restless, anxious, worried, and constantly doubted our relationship (slight exaggeration, but you get the point). My emotional, female self just had this annoying inner dependence on man, my man — my poor, smothered man. Needless to say, the transcontinental relationship died two months in.
There were many factors involved, sure, but I would say the main one was that my need for him was not being met. I couldn’t take it and he couldn’t take me.
I was thousands of miles from home and so, so lonely. I hit my knees. Feeling incredibly sorry for my dumped self, I sank into a sad pile of self-pity. Why wasn’t I good enough? Why didn’t he need me the way I needed him? These stupid questions buzzed over and over in my head.
There wasn’t a strike of lightening or a booming voice from heaven, but in these lonely moments I realized one of the most profound, life-changing things — something I had thought about before, but never seemed as true and relevant as right then — on my knees, just crying out for someone to love me.
God NEEDED to be my main man. He was truly the only one who would appropriately fill the voids I had been hurting from. I was made for Him and no one else. No sin-infused, fallen male could ever satisfy this deep love and unconditional acceptance I was longing for.
My uneasy craziness started to make more sense. I had been looking for something much more perfect than I could get anywhere else beside my Savior. No matter where I physically or emotionally was on this Earth, He would be right there with me, loving me and caring for me through every one of life’s storms. I had been trying to make this poor boy fit the shoes of a big God.
Months after learning this vast, much-needed lesson, I found my way back to my earthly man. But recently I was struck with those similar emotions — wanting and “needing” him to fulfill my heart-wrenching cries for a perfect love. Somehow through his whimsical ways of winning me back, I must have forgotten that one important fact: He is human.
Isn’t it crazy how sometimes we just don’t want to rely on God? We get so used to the physical presence of humans and the tangible comfort they provide, that sometimes trusting in an invisible Father just seems inconvenient. In the midst of my unnecessary frustration, I knew the answer, and God beautifully reaffirmed it as I “stumbled” across Jeremiah 1-3 the other day.
So God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet, Jeremiah doesn’t think he’s qualified, God says “Yes, you are,” Jeremiah gives in (a future blog to be written about what I just simplified), and then Jeremiah confronts the people. He uses the analogy of God being a husband to the bride of Israel. God is angry with his people for their disobedience and their “cheating” on him with Baals and other gods. God even compares the people to prostitutes as he continues on with this lover analogy between Him and his people.
After a chapter of chewing out the wayward Israelites, chapter 3 begins to change the mood:
If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—would you now return to me?, declares the Lord.
Wow. I had never really used this comparison before when thinking about my relationship with God. But I think it puts in perspective how painful it must be for Him when we continually put other gods (relationships) before Him.
Yet even after all of our disobedience and misplacement of priorities, God pleads for US to come back to Him:
Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord, I will frown on you no longer (Jeremiah 3:12).
Return, faithless people, declares the Lord, for I am your husband. I will choose you (Jeremiah 3:14).
What an awesome God. His pursuit of me is truly unbelievable. Even after putting earthly desires before Him, he still welcomes us back into His loving arms.
We have this innate desire for perfect love because the One who created us has the capability to fulfill this desire perfectly. Yes, read that sentence again. So often we ignore this and try to fill this desire with imperfect beings who will always fall short.
Let God be your main priority and cut your significant other some slack…they are only human. People will continue to let us down, but God never will.