I recently watched the movie, “A Star Is Born” staring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The story line of the movie is about a famous musician who is struggling with his personal demons pacified with substance abuse. One night after a performance he gets his driver to take him to a bar where he staggers in for another drink. The next talent steps out onto the stage to perform. Her voice is alluring. Her presence is intoxicating. Their eyes meet….Both of their lives take a leap into the deep waters of love, life, and relationship. Neither of them ever to be the same.
Have you ever met someone that challenged you, and the course of your life was never the same? I can honestly think of a couple of people who have stood toe to toe with me challenging me in many areas of my life that needed to be corrected and areas I needed to learn to step into. Many of those moments were not feel good moments, but they were the moments that would shift my life’s “pre-planned” direction and my relationship with God.
The breakaway song in this movie was, “Shallow” sung by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. When I heard the lyrics of this song it felt like a prompting and an invitation from the Holy Spirit. The song starts by asking the questions, “Tell me somethin’, girl Are you happy in this modern world? Or do you need more? Is there somethin’ else you’re searching for?“.
The next set of questions in the lyrics to the song are, “Tell me somethin’, boy Aren’t you tired of trying to fill that void? Or do you need more? Ain’t it hard trying to keep it so hard core?”.
Do you find yourself just wanting to yell out, “YES!!!” to those questions? I know I often find myself endlessly scrolling on a “small screen” looking to feed the empty space within my own soul. We all have those moments where we find ourselves trying to grab hold of (fill in the blank) to feed that internal hunger as we try to dull that sense of emptiness and longing, even if it’s for just a moment.
I remember a pivotal moment when I sat in a room of women during a Bible study and we were asked to participate in an exercise. We were asked to close our eyes and allow God to speak to us. As I sat there it felt as if Jesus was sitting in front of me asking me to look into His eyes. My head remained low denying Him of His request. I wanted to hold onto the feelings of unworthiness like a security blanket because it was how I saw myself. At that moment it was as if I could feel the warmth of His hand below my chin slowly lifting my face up to look at Him. As I opened my tear stained eyes to look into His face, there was something within His gaze that began to break the walls around my heart and it started a shift within me. His love for me was calling me out from the shallows of my “dutiful” relationship with Him and into a deeper love I’d never experienced before.
I wish I could say all was great from that point on and I never looked back. My relationship with God has taken me on highs and lows. Its had me in passionate moments of “Watch as I dive in” to “And in the bad times I fear myself“. The relationship we are invited into transforms us and the Holy Spirit begins to burrow a hunger within us that keeps us longing for more, but it is a hunger only God can fill.
The challenge to answering these questions is yielding. It’s giving up chasing after “the thing” that brings a moment of physical comfort to a personal choice to shift our focused desires. Every day we make choices and it’s in those little choices that we can begin to find ourselves far from the shallow and into a deep satisfying relationship with the One who knows how to give us the desires within our hearts.