It's when your spirit aches so much that you feel claustrophobic in your own skin: feverish and restless, pacing in your mind, dizzy and a little "out of it" -- concussed, almost.
Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere...
Life feels empty sometimes. It can strike with an odd, unexpected sharpness: when you desperately miss someone's presence in your life -- family member, someone you love romantically, a friend, etc. -- and you try to connect with them but the connection fails, falters, is ignored or even betrayed, and your heart just dies quietly in a vaporous, invisible solitude; or you're grieving someone (or something) that you lost; or perhaps major disappointments begin to outnumber the major "wins" in life.
All these things remind us that even the best earthly loves, the best triumphs, the most fulfilling ambitions or careers, or the people we idolize or place at the center of our universe, can fail us.
...my heart and flesh cry out, to You the Living God...
They can break us with more power and efficiency than we know. Even after it's happened we don't know half the damage it's caused. Only God sees it. Only He has the night vision to go searching in those caverns.
We can have it all, and then lose it all just as fast (or faster). And a great, swelling void appears.
So what happens next?
As I've learned, there's only one answer that satisfies and heals that void in any real, lasting way:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed [happy] are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. (Psalm 84:1-4, NKJV)