Psalm 84_2.jpg

To have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from.

There’s a picture of me as a little one. Head a mass of brown curls. Standing next to the dryer. Needing to have a nap but not there yet. Little hand reaching in to wind tiny fingers around an ear. Puppy had needed to go through the spin cycle and the whirr of the drier. No doubt my mother had timed it perfectly so that we would be reunited and then I would have the nap that the lack of had widened my eyes and reddened my cheeks. I yearned. My favourite stuffie and I had been separated and nothing was right in the world until we were together again.


How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Psalm 84:1-3 (NIV, emphasis mine)

What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! I’ve always longed to live in a place like this, Always dreamed of a room in your house, where I could sing for joy to God-alive! Birds find nooks and crannies in your house, sparrows and swallows make nests there. They lay their eggs and raise their young, singing their songs in the place where we worship. God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God! Psalm 84:1-3 (MSG, emphasis mine)


The writer of the Psalm has it right. An intense longing to be in the house of God. It’s more than just his mind engaged in this longing. His soul yearns. The deepest part of him, the core of who he is, yearns to be in God’s presence. His longing is so intense he faints to be in God’s presence. I’m not quite sure how fainting shows devotion, but he’s been reduced to weakness in order to experience God’s presence.

I’m not sure I yearn for God’s presence. Oh, there are times I’m beating on the walls begging for God to show up in some way in my life. Those moments of desperation are deeply etched in my memory and journals. And He has. He has shown Himself faithful as He has spoken to me. So yes, at times my soul absolutely yearns.

But there are other times when I’m totally “meh” about God being with me or me with Him. And that “meh” feeling isn’t really a great one. It’s that take it or leave it kind of thing. There’s no longing. I live life like nothing is missing. Those times of disillusionment and frustration reveal that the “meh” isn’t so good and isn’t nearly as non-committal as I would like to think it is.

Turns out, when my soul is in a state of yearning for God I look for Him. I pursue Him. I find Him. Those times are rewarding and reminders for all of the other times that while I might think that He is far removed from me, He has been walking with me the entire time. He’s been holding my hand, guiding me along.

Everything is so much better when I yearn for my God.



Shane and Shane’s Yearn

The Story Behind the Song


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