One Spring, our family hosted a ten-year-old Russian foreign exchange student. I got to be his mamma for six weeks. 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.
One day, I tried to get him to write a letter to his parents. I pulled out the stationary, handed him a pen, and 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 twenty 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 worry about my child’s future and fret about the present and whisper…what do?
Yes, there are Bible verses that help steady our feet with each of those scenarios, but the truth is, 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 3:11 NLT). We were made for eternity, and as long as our feet are here on this earth, we will experience a glory ache that only heaven can fully satisfy. We will always feel a certain something missing that may be hard to define.
For the longest time I felt there was just something wrong with me…that I was fatally flawed because I never felt total peace all the time. “What do” echoed in my heart as I tried to figure out what my problem was. But now I realize, it’s because I wasn’t made for this world. Don’t get swallowed up in guilt because you have that nagging feeling that something’s missing. It is! You’re not home yet. Until we get there, savor the moments when God’s presence is strong, and look forward to the day when there will nothing missing at all.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I get so discouraged because I just don’t know what to do with that ache for something more—that gnawing feeling that I’m missing something in my relationship with You. Help me to remember that this is not my home. Help me to not feel guilty or discouraged when nothing in the world satisfies the ache, but to look forward when every longing will cease. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What does it mean to you to know that this is not your home? Leave a comment and let’s share.
Today’s devotion was taken from my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. Click here to read the first chapter and more.
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