9:58pm. I’ve just finished cooking for the week.

The IHOP-KC web-stream has been playing while I’ve been chopping and boiling. This song came on.

I’ve been wrestling with a flu this last week. Being on immune suppressants doesn’t help that fight but its made me slow down. It makes me remember Him again. I remember Him again because I slow down enough to feel the hole in my heart, to feel that God-shaped hole we all have. That ache of loneliness and longing rises inside me as I hear these words:

“What a joy, what a privilege it is to follow the Lamb, to lay down my life again and again.”

What a privilege it is to love this beautiful Man, to follow the Lamb wherever He may lead! When He touches my heart with love, laying down my life again and again seems like nothing. The aching joy of a lovesick heart is an exceedingly great reward in itself. When you feel Him touching your heart, all those struggles to find an income, to carve out a life which others might deem successful, to make it through illness and relational brokenness fade to insignificance. The privilege of loving Him with a whole heart is the mark of a successful life. If I live in a box on the street but worship with a whole heart, oh what privilege I have!

“My heart longs to know You!”

The Lamb was slain for lovesick hearts. Not big ministries nor outwardly successful lives. He was slain for our hearts to be all His. It will be lovesick hearts that finish the Great Commission. It will be lovesick hearts that sing home the King. Lovesick hearts will make others wonder: Who is this Man? Who is this beautiful Lamb you give your life for with so much joy?

“What a joy… to lay down my life again and again.”

We have God-shaped holes in our hearts because He has allowed there to be a us-shaped holes in His. We are the treasure in the field He gave everything for and now He bids us come and find that He too is a treasure in the field of life worth everything.

“I am a shepherd be my sheep. Hear my voice and follow me.”

C.S. Lewis wrote, I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment…” I think this is so true. I have found that one of the biggest pains of a lovesick heart is having it, so often, in isolation. I want to share this aching joy with others. I’m part of a House of Prayer here in Sydney and even as I cook and worship tonight in my kitchen there is the pain of longing in my heart that my community would let lesser things be put aside to share in the One Thing that is truly important.

 “I will follow You…wherever You go.”

J. Ratcliffe