Our insatiable desire to be loved and appreciated can leave us dying of thirst in a desert of people who don’t really care. So how does God solve that problem?
I was only two years old when I went with Mommy and Daddy on vacation to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I remember seeing the stone faces in the mountain and wondering why Daddy thought that was so spectacular. But what I remember most vividly was the motel stay the night before, when I cried uncontrollably.
Every hour on the long drive that day took me farther from our home in northern Kansas. The “parsonage,” Daddy’s name for our house, was next door to the church where he preached. My most familiar means of travel were the walks from the parsonage to my Sunday school class each weekend, where I learned about God’s love for all the little children—red, yellow, black, and white.
Mommy was my teacher. Every night before I went to sleep, I recited the same prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep . . .” and understood that I didn’t need to be afraid, because God was with me.
Daddy built a sandbox on the other side of the gravel driveway, right next to the church building so I would have a place to drive my cast iron toy cars and trucks. Mommy and Daddy were always nearby. I ran and played in the unfenced yard and used sand from the sandbox to build roads down the driveway for my trucks. This was home, not some motel room that was countless windmills away.
I cried and cried, like my best friend had moved away. With tears in her eyes, Mommy asked what was wrong, but I didn’t know. I’d never felt this way before. I just wanted to go home, but why? Mommy and Daddy were there. I even had my toy trucks. What was there to be homesick about? That’s when Mommy explained what I didn’t know. We hadn’t left God back at the church, but he was with me everywhere I went.
Mommy and Daddy’s love, great as it was, wasn’t enough. But now, God’s love filled the void in my heart, and I didn’t feel alone anymore.
“I will ask the Father,” Jesus said, “and he will give you another Guide, one who will always be with you, the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot receive him, because it neither sees him nor knows who he is. But you know, because he lives with you and shall be in you.” — John 14:16