I was doing some Tozer-quote-searching, and stumbled on this quote that cut me to the core, published in Man: The Dwelling Place of God. (A.W. Tozer was a Chicago pastor for 30 years who died in 1963).
Almost every day of my life I am praying that "a jubilant pining and longing for God" might come back on the evangelical churches. We don't need to have our doctrine straightened out; we're as orthodox as the Pharisees of old. But this longing for God that brings spiritual torrents and whirlwinds of seeking and self-denial-- this is almost gone from our midst.
(Hard to believe that his perspective when he wrote this was that this was "almost gone" from his midst. Then he says this):
I believe that God wants us to long for Him with the longing that will become lovesickness, that will become a wound to our spirits, to keep us always moving toward Him, always finding and always seeking, always having and always desiring. So the earth becomes less and less valuable and heaven gets closer as we move into God and up into Christ. Dare we bow our hearts now and say, "Father, I've been an irresponsible, childish kind of Christian-- more concerned with being happy than with being holy. O God, give me three wounds. Wound me with a sense of my own sinfulness. Wound me with compassion for the world, and wound me with love of Thee that will keep me always pursuing and always exploring and always seeking and always finding."
I'm not sure why this stirred me the way it did. But it did. Incidentally, this song that I listened to today stirred me similarly.
In unrelated news, I'm preaching this Sunday at Christ Church on "Tough Questions: Why does God allow suffering?"