I’m writing over at Proverbs 31 Ministries today. I thought you might enjoy this too. Welcome fellow allien!
One spring, our family hosted a 10-year-old Russian foreign exchange student. He went to school with my son and got a taste of what the American Christian family is all about. Alex’s English was very limited, and we depended on hand signals and facial expressions to get by.
On one occasion, I was trying to get him to write a letter to his parents. I pulled out the stationery, handed him a pen, and then pointed to a picture of his mom and dad. “Why don’t you write a letter to your parents,” I suggested. He had no idea what I was talking about.
For 20 minutes, I drew pictures and tried to get him to understand what I wanted him to do. Finally, with tears in his eyes, he looked up at me and said, “What do?”
I just hugged him and put the pen and paper away.
Oftentimes I feel like our little foreign exchange student. I see beauty mingled with pain and suffering and wonder … What do? I feel close to God but not close enough, and I cry … What do? I see glimpses of God’s presence, but the ache never quite goes away completely, and I pray … What do? I worry about the future and fret about the present and whisper… What do?
Yes, there are Bible verses that help steady our feet, but the ache for something more, something different, will never completely go away this side of heaven. The Bible says we are aliens and strangers in this world in which we temporarily live. (1 Peter 1:2, 2:11) Our real citizenship is in heaven, and we’re just passing through this wonderful, sometimes painful thing called life.
Solomon reminds us, “He [God] has planted eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11b). We were made for eternity, for glory, and as long as our feet are here on this earth, we’ll experience a glory-ache that only heaven can fully satisfy. We will always feel a certain something missing that may be hard to define.
Another translation of Ecclesiastes 3:11b reads, “He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy],” (AMPC). Not until we see Jesus face-to-face will the lingering ache completely subside. I can almost hear the collective “Ahhhh” to come when we believers exhale our last earthly breath and inhale eternity for the first time.
I hope that makes you feel better. It certainly does me. For the longest time, I felt there was just something wrong with me … that I was fatally flawed because I never felt total peace. “What do” echoed in my heart as I tried to figure out my problems — why I had that unrest in my soul. But now I realize total, sustainable, uninterrupted peace will never come this side of heaven. Click & Tweet! We simply get glimpses.
But glimpses come, and they go. The choir stops. The sunset fades. The rose drops its petals. The kiss ceases. Thunder quiets. The wind stills. The stars disappear. We want to live in a constant state of awe, but we can’t. Our human limitations won’t allow it. Our minds, our bodies, our emotions couldn’t contain it. The circuitry of our humanity would overload.
Even Moses had to hide in the cleft, and he was only allowed to see God’s back as His glory passed by. (Exodus 33:18-23).
I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I could use one myself. Here’s my encouragement for you today. You are a child of God who is completely loved, completely forgiven and complete in Christ. Click & Tweet! And on those days when you feel like something’s missing, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t get swallowed up in guilt because you’re not totally satisfied — like something’s missing. It is! You’re not home yet. Until then, let’s savor the moments when God’s presence is strong and look forward to the day when there will be nothing missing at all.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I’m so discouraged because I just don’t know what to do with that ache for something more — that gnawing feeling I’m missing something in my relationship with You. Help me remember that this world is not my home. Help me not feel guilty or discouraged when nothing satisfies the ache, but to look forward to when every longing will cease. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What are some ways you feel like an alien in this world? How is it comforting to you to know this world is not your home? Please leave a comment and let’s share. Leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick one comment to receive a free copy of A Sudden Glory.
This devotion was adapted from my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. It’s a deep book, and it will take you deeper. In it we see how to solve the problem of never feeling we have enough time to spend with God. You might be surprised as the answer.
Do you live near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada;Wellsboro, PA; North East, MD; Chesapeake, VA; or New Bern, NC? I’ll be speaking at each of these cities this Fall! I’d love to meet you and hug your neck! Click here for more information!
I feel like an alien in this world when I see all of the people who disagree so much with anything that has to do with God. How can there be so many that can’t see all that He has made for them? I am comforted when I am spending time with God in the middle of the night and He tells me that my perseverance will lead to His victory already won. Praise God! I can hardly wait! 🙏🏽❤️🥰
I have been spiralling downwards feeling my life in pieces around me and wondering why and what do I have to do to pick myself back up…which feels like an almost impossible thing to do…and then I get your e-mail not only saying “what do” , but also the answer…thank you! That truly is a message from God. You are touching so many hearts.
This was so encouraging, thank you so much.
Sharon this was sup powerful that it spoke directly to my soul. I long for that sense of outrage and I knew for a long time that this is not my home. I thank you for shooting God to use you in this very moment because I REALLY needed to hear this right now. To God Be All The Glory, Honor, and Praise!!!
Thank you so much for sharing this ! It was I needed to hear. May God bless you!
I loved reading this! I wish I could give Alex a hug too!
It seems that more and more people choose sin over God and I am left feeling alone and abandoned in this world as I do not join them in their ways. I understand completely how it feels to feel like an outcast, or foreign, or even from a different world. It can be a rather lonely feeling. It’s sometimes hard to remember that much better still awaits us.
This was the devotional I needed today. That longing is so great some times and I never thought of this before. Thank You.
You where at a WM’s conference at Hershey, PA. I had bought several of your books, but Sudden Glory opened up my understanding of what and how to see God’s glory. I was sitting in my car reading your book and it was early in the morning before the sun comes up on the mountain behind me. I often watch the mountain in front of where I’m sitting in the morning to watch the sun come down the mountain and across the field till it gets to me. As I was reading I came to the part where Moses ask to see God’s glory and you know the rest of your story. Well I was so interested in your book that when I looked up I saw the sun had made its way across the field, and like Moses the mountain behind me was letting me see God’s glory. My only regret was that I didn’t get a picture of how beautifully that sunrise was. Granted I wasn’t looking at the sun as it was rising, but God’s glory was ever so close to me that morning as it slowly came across the field and up to where I was sitting that I started my journey to see God’s glory. What I was seeing that morning was just a glimpse of his glory. I don’t think in the 50+ years that I have been a Christian that I really understood what the glory of God was till I read your book and watched the sun come up that morning. I caught a glimpse of heaven and a longing to be with Jesus
This is exactly how I am feeling at this moment. I feel alone and abandoned I know I’m not and that God is always there. However in the darkness that I am going through I cannot see the light. I’m asking God “What do?”. This devotional was perfect for me today. Thank you.
I loved your post today. I have always felt like an outsider, like I just didn’t belong here. Sometimes that can be a rather lonely feeling. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I came to understand that this world is not my home. But while I am here, I must do my Father’s bidding and live my life in such a way that others will ask, “what is different about her?” I long for the day that I will finally see my eternal home and meet my Lord face to face to thank Him for all He has done for me, especially for the ultimate price He paid. For now, and while I am here, I try to do my best to live a life pleasing to Him and pray for opportunities to share my faith with others. It is a beautiful world, but nothing compared to the perfect land my Father has in store for those who love Him!
Hi, For years I wondered where God is here until I was born again at age 58 in 2013.
And I have been so grateful to know God’s Presence whenever I think of Him ever since. It’s the only thing that keeps me going and also His Presence when I read the Word.. The humger for more of Him is there til I think and pray with Him.
47 years married to a man of God! I have a longing in my heart for something more.in my earthly marriage . I know the marriage supper of the Lamb is going to finally fill that void one day. Still I go on seeking , loving and serving . I have never been made to feel oneness with my spouse. He believes we must keep our separate identities. When he first started preaching he taught oneness but when he went through some kind of breakdown in his 40-50’s he totally changed. It’s been a struggle for me for 25 years . I will admit I am learning to leave it and seek to make my relationship with Jesus stronger. You can’t change another persons thoughts so I am working on my own. Doing your Bible study Lovestruck makes me long for the Lord’s return even more.
I’m a 54 married woman, with 4 grown kids, 3 married, 5 grandkids. We also have an 12 yr old adopted son. We home school him. I do not work outside the home. We don’t have people around to help watch him, if I need to or would like a break. We go to a great church, but I find women my age are working or kids in school. So it is hard. Yet, I know this is where God has us. But also, I get lonely. It’s hard when people have lived in the area all their lives, so have friends outside of church. And they keep busy with their friends. I feel like alien. Not always easy.
When I am at work. I often feel like an alien. My co-workers are not believers and I feel as if I fail in showing them Jesus. I too have felt this longing for something more. Thank you for sharing this!
This was just what I needed today!
Thank you, I feel very alone in this world and I know this is not my permanent home. Thank you for this reminder that there is something and someone to look forward to after this life. And that those of us who follow Christ are Not Alone we have the love of Jesus.
Wow – that really hit home today. I seriously needed to hear this – thank you so much.
Seems like I feel like that quite a bit lately. Since I came back from treatments for cancer. I don’t see very many of my friends anymore. I feel alone most of the time but I know one day I will spend with my heavenly father
I needed to read this today! I woke up after a restless night struggling with trying to figure out what’s the next step to rage in life , retire from this lifelong job while I’m still young enough to enjoy my passion hobby that’s going places and enjoy my grand babies also or stay out of a sense of dedication !! What do?!?
I try very hard to love others in this world but the world seems so angry these days! Road rage, impatient customers in the store, people looking at you like you’re crazy or have a hidden agenda just when you smile at them in passing!
I’m a people person but I’m finding that people just want to be left to themselves. I often ask people how I can pray for them, my heart is so heavy for other’s pains and heartaches! We are studying being aliens in this world in our Sunday morning worship right now, using the same scriptures you mentioned in this devotion. I’m not only enjoying this series but I’m receiving so much information from God and how to apply it to my daily life! I can’t wait until we are all home with our Savior, resting in hearts of complete joy! No sorrows, what a day that will be!
38 years living where I was born and raised, then I married a pastor and 4 years later we moved to a new city. Settled in and became quite attached to our new home, new relationships and 14 years later moved again. This move was very hard for many reasons. I was walking one morning in our new community and letting God know I was not happy with how He allowed circumstances to play out leading to our move. I had grown to love our last place and wanted to go home. God litterally stopped me in my tracks and in His warmth I heard “I am your home”. That moment changed everything. I rejoiced in Him and settled in once again making some great new relationships. 4 years later, another move and my attitude was one of wondering what adventures God had in store! Where He leads, I will follow because I love being here while I wait for my permanent home!
Yes! That’s it.
I remember reading years ago a story when God made us. He didn’t put Rest in man. When one of the angels asked Him why He said, “So they’ll long to come HOME.”
There’s that ache within us and it will never be filled on earth.
Thanks for such a moving post.
O Sharon, Where Do I Start, But, Ile Just Tell You, Yes, I Question On What Am U Doing Wrong, What Am When, Both soft Mt Sons Are In Jail😢, Sharon, This Is Lucy, I Have Never Done Something Like This, I Don’t Like People To Know, What I’m Going Through, I Live The Clowns Life, I Always Have A Smile On My Face, Have A Super Naturally Blessed Day😇🙏
This is a crazy world we live in. What a great reminder that this is not our home, but we are here with a purpose.
Thank you! I also, have never felt like I belonged here. Yet functioning for my first 50 years with a smile and pretending like I did, as much as possible. These past 5 yrs I feel Like I can no longer pretend. Even in the Christian circles where I have ministered to and been a part of the local church, not in the corporate job I worked for almost 25 yrs, and most difficult, not with my family. So 7 months ago I retired early from my Job, we moved and joined a new church, and I am trying to figure out what God really wants me to do. Becoming who God created me to be not just what this world has tried shaping me into.
This brings me peace! Thank you!
I’ve known, in my “knower”, that this earth is not our home, but in my heart, I many times just long for my one true home. In the beginning of our walk with Christ Jesus, there are missing pieces. We pick those up all along this narrow path. The Lord uses people, places and things to guide us along. This blog post gave me a brand new piece of the puzzle, and I want to thank the Lord for inspiring you to be His scribe. And thank you for your faithfulness!!! I pray often for your ministry.
Thank you, so much for this! I’ve been feeling like this for a long time. Felt like I wasn’t doing enough, spending enough time with God, sharing my faith with others, just seems like it’s never enough. I’ve got tears of relief! Thank you!!
Loving all the books I got last year.
unfortanelly now cancer is back and not working at the present time.
They feel after chemotherapy & radiation I will beat it again. I keep saying yes God will allow it to be.
Oh, thank you for the hug, and I embrace you! thank you for your words – they gave me chills and tears, good ones. I needed that message today.
Oh Sharon, my heart so needed this today. You’ve just “hugged my heart” so much. Sending you a big virtual hug!
I just had an ah-ha moment. Thank you so much!!
Thank you for your devotional today. It hit the mark on exactly what I have been feeling lately. Your penned words really spoke to my heart and I feel more at peace. So true what you shared with your heart. May our Lord continue to use and bless you as you reach out to others needing a touch of God’s divine peace in this troubled world.
This spoke to me. I have been a Christian for many years and I still struggle with self criticism. I also have difficulty understanding today’s world. I do feel like an alie because the current values of society are not how I was raised. I know this is the sign of the times and God is coming soon. That is the only positive about how the world is today.
Thank you so much for this today. It comforts me in a deeper way possibly than you even meant. I have always felt like something was missing in my life, and I have thought it was because I am a Third Culture Kid. As a daughter of international missionaries, we moved every two years as I was growing up. By the time I was 18 I’d moved at least 9 times, then came more moves with college, marriage, career changes, etc. I don’t feel like I am “from” anywhere nor do I fully “belong” anywhere. No place on earth truly feels like home. I can try everything under the sun to create that sense of perfect peace for myself – truly home- and nothing lasts. Now I’m in my forties with a wonderful husband and 5 dearly loved children, and I still feel like an alien often. I loved your words, “You’re not home yet” because my true home is with Jesus and someday I will he finally home. Ah the peace of being where I’m
really from and where I really belong! Now when people ask me where home is (a question I never knew how to answer) I will tell them I’m not there yet!! I will share with them that Jesus is my home.
One of my favorite verses (I stenciled in my kitchen) is Ps 90:1, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!”
Thank you, dear sister, for your beautiful reminder today. It touched my heart!💕
Thank you so much! I really needed to hear this today!! Literally today!!!
This makes sense to me. Thank you
So much encouragement exactly when I needed it. I was wondering what my naked, exposed, awkward feeling was this morning. I have undeserving love and grace flowing down on me that it can be so overwhelming and humbling that I want to share it. After I have tried to share about God’s Grace flowing down on us. I feel as if I just I am an odd looking alien speaking a foreign language. I am so thankful for these awesome words of encouragement that I have fellowship in this awkwardness.
I saw this over on Encouragement for Today. It’s something I know but often forget. Thank you for the reminder that I will never truly feel “at home” here and for reigniting the hope of what is to come!
Thank you Sharon, l really needed the words of encouragement, my heart have been feeling the longly and didn’t know why thank you so much it gave me joy to know one day l shall be with the lord where their will be eternal peace.
I love your comment that we will always feel like something is missing until we are home with Jesus.
I believe that, although I want and do feel there is peace here on earth in heavenly realms. God is so good and He would not leave us alone here on earth. So blessed to have God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for sharing your thought and blessings with us!❤️
I feel like an Alien every time I a away from God. You see for many years I have been in and out of church and every time I’m out, I start getting sick. Really literally sick anxious upset depressed and it’s always because something is missing. Thank you for such wonder words it would be amazing to receive a free copy of the book to help me.
Perfect timing to hear this today! I’ve been searching for something that’s missing from my life since my son was killed in an accident last June. I can’t figure out what to do with that love and nurturing, and I’ve been praying about it. I know nothing will come close to filling that void…not until that glorious day.
I have felt this way for most of my life. Not knowing what it was, has always caused me to look for comfort in all the wrong places. Thank God for the day He changed my life forever, when He found me. Today I felt a void so deep inside me, I realized that I am made for more! God created us to only find our wholeness in him. Thank you Sharon for the remix through this blog of why we feel the way we do. I would love to know that I am living for my savior in everything that I say and do.
I hope to see you in VA. I live in N C not too far from the place you are speaking. Just haven’t been able to get a ticket yet.
What you said in this post stuck me hard. I do feel like a failure. Bad childhood and still suffering. Been going to counseling for 8 years and my counselor is leaving me same with Psychiatrist (9years). I sort of know it’s not my fault. They are moving to a different kind of counseling. But I am struggling. They leaving at the end of the month. I can’t share again my past. I wasn’t finished with her but she didn’t think I was moving fast enough. I feel like a failure and having trouble getting your concept.
Please pray for me as I go through this transition. My counselor I have been seeing this lady for about a year for DBT. My insurance and counselors. Had to find a med person. I have to go to a PA psychiatrist. I don’t do well with change. She will be someone new. I don’t trust my regular counselor yet. It takes me a long time.
Please pray for me. I would like it if I didn’t feel like a failure.
Bev from NC
Please pray for me. I already answered.
I read this message over & over because it revealed I am not alone about how I feel. I need hours in my quite time with Jesus but it is not enough to give me the peace & calm needed to face the situations & many people who do not know Jesus. I want to experience a much deeper relationship with our Lord to know confidence to share HIM with others. This post meant so much & I will save it to read again & again! Thank you for speaking to my spirit today❣️
Thank you for sharing this encouraging message!! I definitely needed to be reminded that I am God’s child complete in Christ Jesus who shed His precious blood for me!! I really needed this message because lately my heart has been so heavy ,struggling with several issues. Thank you again Sharon for your thoughts and encouragement! God bless you!!
Thank you, Glory be to God!🙌
Wow Sharon… I Just wanna thank you for the message… I am a full time student and teacher.. And yesterday I just couldn’t handle my admin and had the ugliest panic attack ever… Fortunately we had homecell last night and God helped me to bounce back… I SOOOO APPRECIATED your message todaY!! God bless you!! 💛 Inge from sunny SA
When people look at you like your crazy when you don’t drink wine or want to ‘party’ with them. They don’t understand that that kind of ‘party’ is harmful & I can be very happy with doing things God’s way.
Often I feel like I don’t belong because I don’t relate to the younger generations or the mind-set of the world. I believe in modesty, in showing respect, in being kind, in loving people. I see young people hurting and feeling like nothing satisfies them, unless they’re on social media. Some times I think I’m the only one who covets calm, serene, quiet atmospheres or spending time with my family around the dinner table talking over a good meal. I know these will be things we’ll experience in heaven and I’m so looking forward to that.
I got this yesterday and just got to read it today. I know why now. Because I didn’t need it yesterday, I needed it today.
i feel this ache almost every day!often i feel like i’m a complete stranger in this world!within my spirit i know that i know that i know,i’m longing for returning my real home with my hevenly father!
This beautiful devotion came just when Jesus knew I needed confirmation of His love for me. When my time with Him has been interrupted by distractions that I allow in my life, I feel such a sense of despair and loneliness. We just discussed this very subject at our women’s study this week. Just when I thought I was alone in my feelings of isolation and malaise, I find that many of us share the very same symptoms when we are not in the presence of God. I believe God allows us to sense our need for Him through times of discomfort. Thank you for sharing through His word just what I needed. God bless you.