Miriam Webster defines “longing” as “a strong persistent yearning or desire, especially one that cannot be fulfilled.” We are aware of our longing for God (Psalm 42:1-2; 63:1-2). But does the God of the Universe have longings? “Unfulfilled” longings?
The answer lies in looking at Jesus. God’s longing is seen through Jesus as He seeks to heal those who are hurt and sick and held captive to sin. Does Jesus not say “I have come to seek to save that which was lost?” (Luke 19:10) Is this not the longing of God's heart.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories of longings—each one representing the “Father-heart” of God: the shepherd searching for the one lost sheep out of a hundred, of a woman who searches for a lost coin, and of a father who welcomes his wayward son home. Each parable pictures a longing—even an urgency—to find that which was loved and lost. In our sometimes self-centered (please-meet-my-needs) search for God, we forget it is God, initially and preveniently, who is longing for us.