By Jason VanDyke
If I wasn’t dating someone I would be wishing I was. Through middle and high school, I found a lot of my identity in my relationships. If I were to describe my high school life with one word, that word would be the one – “relationships.” At this time in my life, my faith was not very personal and in many ways I was going through the motions of a Christian life. I went to church because that’s what my parents did, and the idea that Jesus might be interested in how I was feeling was completely foreign to me.
Without that realization that I could have as personal a relationship with God as with anyone else, I was trying to fulfill my desire for intimacy through the people I was with. Looking back, it’s pretty easy to see that this was a bit misguided and my desire was never fully satisfied. This wasn’t because the people I was with were bad people, it’s simply because my friend or girlfriend could never fully and perfectly satisfy the desires I had, such as the desires to be loved, to be accepted, and to be seen as good enough.
This truth continues to become more evident to me today. As I continue to do life at college and grow closer to God in this season of singleness, one verse I’ve held in my heart since high school is Psalm 73:26 which states, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” This verse has helped me recognize this flesh I live in is not perfect; I have desires and feelings, both good and bad, but they should not be what I build my life on. Feelings come and go, meaning if I try to build my life on them, things will fall apart very quickly. A good example would be my supposed “need” for some amazing shoes or a new video game; over time my shoes show signs of wear or that game starts to get boring, leaving me with something I no longer desire. My feelings are so prone to change from year to year, day to day, and even minute to minute, but the one thing that will never change is my God. He will always be present and will always be able to fulfill the desires I have, which is obvious when I consider it is him who gives me these desires in the first place. He is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
When my desire for intimacy gets strong, sometimes to the point of overwhelming me, I look to God for love and peace. It is not an easy thing to do, coming from where I’ve been, as I always had someone else around that I’ve allowed to be the one to fulfill that God-sized desire. But when I begin to taste the goodness that God is the only fountain that can satisfy my thirst for intimacy – this God-given, God-sized desire – it just becomes a natural thing to seek him out to fill my cup more often and more fully so that I overflow. In light of where I am at this point in my life, I know God can be intimately trusted to be the one thing in my life that remains constant because he has promised, in Psalm 73:26, that he is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.