Don’t you feel it sometimes too? Maybe it’s in a quiet moment as you are driving or walking somewhere…it can happen in a cemetery or super-market…maybe it was after another embarrassing failure on your part…or perhaps, after visiting a hurting loved one in the hospital…or when you received sad news about a friend whose surgeon told them they have a few weeks to a few months to live…or in the middle of playing with your grandchild. I’m talking about an ache…deep down inside you.
The ache may signal regret over something you’ve been unable to change. It may reflect a deep sorrow that leaves you feeling helpless. It sometimes comes when we are possessed of a great and unspeakable joy. The ache may come as a form of challenge to us to try to do and be better. Or it may simply be an expression of a deep desire within us for more…not more of this world’s stuff, but more of Something else. Sometimes we just ache for home…for our true home. Do you know what I mean?
I don’t think everyone feels the ache of which I speak. Or maybe they do feel it, but won’t pay attention to it. But for those who feel it and admit it, I’d like to say something more. We ought to be thankful if we feel the “ache” from time to time. The ache is the voice of our soul crying out for that for which we were made…fellowship with our Father-Creator. Augustine, in speaking to God, said this, “You stir man to take pleasure in praising You, because You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless, until it rests in You.”
This world can’t fulfill the need God has placed within us for Him. Only He can do it. So many of us fail to recognize the God-hunger within us and go looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places with all the wrong things. We define ourselves by worldly possessions, portfolios, careers, talents, influence, physical attractiveness and other things that time will diminish. Jesus said that our hearts would linger over what we truly treasure. But only God is big enough for our hearts. Only He can fill and fulfill. Only He can satisfy.
Those who feel this ache for God are drawn to worship Him. They come to sing to Him of their love…to offer Him, again and again, their hearts…to align themselves with His purposes…to let everyone know, who cares to know, that they serve the Almighty Who loves them with an everlasting love.
Yes, we know our limitations, at least to some degree. We get tired and frustrated, but we aren’t quitting. We fail and feel fear. We don’t know all the answers. We embarrass ourselves sometimes. And we ache inside.
But take heart, child of God! We are only homesick. And we are not yet home. But one of these days, we will wake and stretch and find ourselves feeling amazingly well and clear-headed. And the lifelong ache we have felt will be gone forever. We will be at home with God!