What does it look like to have legitimate faith in the midst of desire? Does faith have actual form and substance? I find that when I'm struggling with these questions, I feel so alone. To me, that is what feels real. I know logically that God is near but it sure does not feel like it. I know I am to have faith but what does that look like? I remember several things Bono said in an interview that really rang true. Bono was interviewed a couple of years ago in a book called "Bono: in conversation with Michka Assayas" Here are a few excepts:
"In the Scriptures, the blessing of an older man is a powerful thing. Think of Jacob, who cheated his blessing out of his father Abraham, and dressed up as his brother. ..He stole the blessing. The extraordinary thing about the story is that God honored the blessing of the blind father. I've often wondered why. It puzzled me...For example, why would God honor this cheater, this man who stole this brother's blessing? And the only answer I could come up with was, and it might not be unsatisfactory, that he wanted it more...And I think God was moved by that" (pp. 250-251).
When I read those thoughts it all made sense. Bono said something so eloquently and yet so simple: Jacob "wanted it more". So what does that say about desire, envy, and longing? Bono says earlier in the same book...
"there's a chasm between envy and desire, Ok? Envy is like wanting something that's not yours. But desire is different. Desire comes out of wanting what is yours, and still wanting it even if it's not yet there, but it's not envy" (p. 38).
We are made to hope and to have desire. Desire is that thing that is obtainable and possible. It gives way to dreams and passions. When we stop desire, our faith wavers.
The great tragedy is that we often start believing a lie that it is not OK to desire and to have faith. I had a guy say to me once over coffee "you guys with all your dreams...its foolish". I remember thinking how scared he must be and that somewhere he made a promise to not hope again. The problem is that our hearts are not made to "not hope". We are made for desire. We are made to dream. We are made to believe.