My soul longs for connection. I love people and want to be close to them. Connection is important to me because I want to be known and seen by others as much as I want them to be known and seen by me. Sometimes this longing for connection places too many expectations on those closest to me– and I begin to sense that it’s not really people-connection that I’m longing for, but Jesus-connection.
It’s a little like being thirsty. Physical thirst triggers in us a longing for water and without it, we might not take care of ourselves properly. Longing for Jesus is similar, and instead of spending time with him when I feel disconnected, I often misread this signal and give myself a somewhat unhealthy diet of good sweet people– like the coffee I tend to chose instead of water. These people aren’t bad for me, but it’s easy to see that they aren’t and can’t be Jesus to me. In order to shift my perspective, I approach Jesus with these 3 steps.
Recognize the thirst When you start longing for connection, ask yourself this question. Is this desire about being disconnected with the person/persons I love, or is this about my soul longing for truer connection? They are similar questions, but the first is focused of loving others well and the second is focused on your own needs, longings, or loneliness. If this is about your own needs, acknowledge that your foundational thirst really isn’t for people. Then, let go of the expectations that you have for others to fill that hole, and turn all of your attention to Jesus.
Clean your cup Spending time with Jesus isn’t just about his companionship. Tell him about your longing and your misguided need for the attention of others. Confess your struggles and your thirst, and let him meet you right there. Let him begin the work in you that he wants to do to make you whole. Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you sit and let Jesus clean your motivations and intentions, your longings and insecurities. Confession clears the way for healing. If you don’t clean your cup the yuck gets in the way of Jesus giving you all that he wants too. [pullquote]Confession clears the way for healing.[/pullquote]
Drink in truth Jesus is our living water. His words and The Word are some of the ways he fills us up. These aren’t just hopeful words, they are life, security, and peace to our souls. *If you don’t know where to start, I’ve listed some scripture at the end to help. Here is a good method for drinking in Jesus when your primary purpose is to fill your loneliness and feel his connection.
- Pray- Ask Jesus to meet you here and to fill you up. No elaborate prayers are needed. Keep it simple he doesn’t need anything more.
- Sit quietly- take some deep breaths. You are meeting Jesus, don’t let your life distract you.
- Choose one verse or thought to focus on. I often read until something grabs me and then I focus on it.
- Reread the verse or short passage . Yep..4, 5, 6 times if you’d like. Read different versions but don’t make it a Bible study. Read aloud. Sing it if you feel like it. Plop down right in the midst of God’s word and take comfort in it.
- Sit and listen. Jesus probably has a lot more to say to you. Be still and relax. I often begin to see pictures in my mind, others see words, and some here whispers in their souls. Soak it up.
- Praise God for meeting you. Praise him for his love. Praise him for any and everything he brings to mind. Thank him for filling you up with exactly what you needed.
Spending time with Jesus will calm and fill your soul. When you have asked Jesus to fill you with himself, you can’t help but love the people around you better and more freely. Drink deep of Jesus friends, his love and presence are the only things that will leave your soul satisfied.
*Here are some of my go-to passages when I want to get connected to Jesus:
Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 19, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, and I John and Psalms