Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

The Ache

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!

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10 thoughts on “The Ache

  1. Sis Gail on said:

    Oh Doug, you always know at the right time some things like this I need to hear and think about.
    I feel kind of like I am trying to stay busy with people and things I try to plan to do with people but this never takes care of the “Ache” I feel as I go on each day.
    And then it feels like bumps in the road where I cannot feel completely Happy here anymore because of “The Ache”. For my Father In Heaven and the ones I have known who have gone on. My Family and My Friends in the Lord have gone on and I MISS THEM. So My Father knows I am trying to stay the course but it is not easy. I know I am homesick, no doubt about it for me.
    Love you Doug for your deep, loving thinking about this for my heart and helps me understand myself once again.

    • Wayne Hunter on said:

      Doug, I don’t know that I have ever heard this thought expressed better. If it’s ok I would like to copy and paste this to a Word document and use it in a church newsletter. God Bless and have a great day.

  2. Anonymous on said:

    Doug, this is probably one of my favorites of your thought expressions. I too copied this and shared it with Charlie.You have a real gift for writing material in such a way that touches people individually in ways personal to them.This “God Hunger” as you call it(what a neat phrase)is coming to me more often each year as I age.I wasn’t sure what to call it,but after reading your article I’m sure that’s what it is. As I’m entering into the golden years of my life,I have most everything I need for comfort and happiness,yet the joy and happiness from material possession is not fulfilling to the point I might imagine or want. I love the modest home God has blessed us with and even when I’m sitting in our “garden of eden” backyard (as I call it) I can still experience this “ache” or longing….that there’s something more than this,even amidst the beauty that I’m surrounded by.Dad was 89 yrs old recently….I know my dad feels this ache. He is ready to go and be with his Lord. I see it in his face and hear it in his voice whenever we’re together. I thank you for your words that cause me to pause and think about what truly is important.This life is so short,I’m trying to be patient while waiting for the “real” joys that await me in Heaven with our Father God.

  3. emailgirl on said:

    I wandered back onto your blog last night because I have an ache for anything about having a relationship with God. I’ve been running for a while…avoiding Him…trying to “hide”. He will not let me go though. I see Him in everything I do and when I see Him I get the ache and want to run back to Him. I know “the ache” of which you speak. I think it is a blessing. Without it I would be lost.

  4. Sis Gail on said:

    Emailgirl – Hello, I have a scripture in mind that said something like “He (Jesus-God) has a hold on us”. So once we have known him and loved him and have seen His Love for us we cannot let go either. We might wander away some but He wants us Home with Him and He never is the one who let’s go. He LOVES US THAT MUCH. I am looking for that scripture this morning, just saw it in a sunday school class we had not long ago. When I find it will get in to you. Doug probably knows where it is. Gail

    • emailgirl on said:

      Thats very comforting Gail. Thank you. I would love to know what verse it is. I’ll be looking for it.

      • oakesclan on said:

        My sister Gail may be thinking of John 10:25-30 which offers us the great comfort of knowing that Christ’s sheep are held in His hand, while He is also held in His Father’s hand. If Christ holds us, we are absolutely safe, though we may suffer in any of many ways. And if He Who holds us in His hand is Himself held in Father God’s hand…well…that’s as emphatic as it can get…we are His…we are held…our souls are safe.

        • emailgirl on said:

          Thanks Doug. To me it’s odd feeling to feel safe in His hand even when I’m wandering away, but I do. It’s odd because I feel like such a lost sheep internally but I never feel like He’s taken His hand off me so I’m not really alone. Does that make sense? Maybe I can explain it better. I haven’t been to church in a year and a half. I rarely pray or read my bible. I’m watching my kids grow up without Him being a central part of their lives and although that bothers me deeply, I’ve done nothing to fix it. My world has seemed to be a constant ever-moving array of change in the last 2 years and I can’t find that spot where I was comfortable before. After being laid off from a job I loved at the end of 2011, nothing’s been right it seems. It’s like I was happy and comfortable…the content I’d been in my whole life and someone flipped a switch and it all went away. I grasped at it for a while…tried to hold onto it but I lost. It slipped away. And so did I. I’ve been “away” several times in my life and it always felt like when I wandered God let go. Maybe thats just what i thought. Or maybe I never really recognized before what being in His hand felt like so i though He ha let go when He hadn’t. This time is different. I can wander far, but in every step and in every breath I know I’m in His hand. Even when I have wanted Him to take a step back so I wouldn’t feel so guilty, I know He hasn’t. Its different this time. I have a feeling that its really just ME that’s different. Right? 🙂 He’s always been there. He has never changed. And He has forever held me in His hand. I can not think of anything better than that. That’s really good news. ~ Carolyn

  5. Patricia Gail Oakes on said:

    Email girl – I have not forgot. The blog “The Ache”. I was reading this morning in Phippians 3:12. New Int’l version. Paul was saying “Not that I have obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me”. And there is another place Ken Dietz (christain at SD Church of Christ) was teaching us in 1st John about Jesus taking hold of us and we just cannot let go if we have ever knew Him. I am paraphrasing some here but this was the jest of it. I think Ken was referring to another book in the NT to teach us that though while teaching us 1st John.

    I will keep looking.

    Hope you are hanging in there. We all are trying to hang on. Jesus did, so we have
    got to remember him about this. And ask him everyday to help us.

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