Have you ever taken the “5 Love Languages” Test? You know the one based on the Gary Chapman book that helps you determine how you naturally “give” and “receive” love? (If you haven’t, you should.)
Well, I’ve taken it and my primary love language is TOUCH. Yes, “touch.” I feel loved when you hug me, or kiss the top of my head, or (yes, even) give me an affectionate tap on the shoulder. I’m pretty much like a pet in that regard.
The difficult thing is that I’m single, and when you’re single, and you live far away from your family, you don’t tend to be touched that often. You get the occasional hug from a girl in your community group, but more than often than not, you go days – even weeks – without more than a handshake during the Sunday morning “passing of the peace.”
Now, mind you, this is a distinctly American thing. I think if I lived in say, Italy, it might be a different story. But, alas, I’m an American and we’re not big into the whole cheek-kissing or friends-holding-hands thing.
So every once in a while I get frustrated with this situation. And my frustration usually plays out a little like this:
I say, “Jesus, WHY did you create me to be ‘TOUCH’ person and then give me a life where I’m rarely touched??”
I throw a little pity-party … and then I (usually) move on.
But last week this typical “conversation” took a different turn: God responded.
He showed me a picture of Himself … in a manger.
Yes, baby Jesus. In a manger. (stay with me)
Like a typical Holy-Spirit-conversation, it didn’t make sense at first. What did baby Jesus have to do with feeling touch-starved? So, I asked Him (it’s always best to ask for clarification.)
And in response, He said: “I, too, wanted to be held.”
He, too, wanted to be held.
He, too, was human.
Now, you might not be a “touch” person. You might not be single.
But the fact that Jesus was human – that he had unmet desires, that he suffered, wondered, and hurt – matters. It means that you aren’t alone in your frustrating places, those things you don’t understand.
You might not understand why he gave you a shy nature but an extroverted job… or a desire to pursue a career and then called you to be a stay-at-home-mom.
You might not understand why He called you to the place where you work, or live, or worship – with its difficulties, frustrations, and unanswered questions.
I don’t know why Jesus sometimes gives us what we would not have chosen or allows things that don’t “make sense.”
But two things I do know:
- Our unmet desires will one-day be fulfilled completely and perfectly in Christ. There won’t be any wanting … because all we could have ever wanted will be found in Him. And, until then, “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
- And one day we will understand. There won’t be any more questions. For “now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now [we] know only in part; then [we] will know fully, even as [we] are fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Part of the beauty (and pain) of Christian faith is that we’re thrown curve-balls that cause us to question. I urge you to ask those questions. Lob them up to the Father… and listen for His response.