When Your Soul Aches for Something More

Sharon JaynesA Sudden Glory 166 Comments

Do you ever feel like something is missing in your life? Maybe you are doing all the right things: going to church, reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, helping the poor. But in your heart, you feel a void, like something’s not quite right.

Most of us come to Christ with a certain “inloveness”—a stirring of emotion mixed with an inexplicable knowing that we’ve discovered our reason for being. But some years into our spiritual journey, the wonder that swelled during the early years ebbs into routine religion laced with busyness.

And we secretly question the point of it all.

There has to be more than this, we muse. There has to be something more. What am I missing? What’s wrong with me? I’m doing all the right things, but God seems so far away. I’m trying as hard as I can, but it never seems to be enough. What does God really want from me anyway?  

I wonder if you’ve ever felt that way.

For decades, as I have had the privilege of ministering to women, I have heard the same heart-cry from those who desire to have a deep, intimate, exuberant relationship with Christ but don’t know how to find it.

Here’s part of one email:

Here’s the crux of my problem. After I gave my life to Christ, I joined a church and began reading the Bible daily. Yet, I never experienced that overwhelming feeling of change that so many others experience. In my quiet times, when I seek to know Him better and wait quietly for answers, I do not get the nudges that others talk about. I know that some people hit rock bottom and then experience a dramatic life change accompanied by an emotional high. I sometimes wonder if I will have to experience some great trial in order to have the wonderful feelings of a true relationship with Christ.

I try to start each day with quiet time, scripture reading and prayer. I try to have a God-focused day. Is something wrong with me? Do other women feel this emptiness too? Should I be feeling something more? What more should I be doing? I know Christ loves me, but something is missing and I don’t even know what it is. What should I do?
—Stephanie (Not her real name. Used by permission.)

Perhaps you can relate. You long to feel close to God but sense there’s just something lacking, that you’ve missed the mysterious formula to make it happen.  I call this a “glory ache” —a persistent longing to experience God’s presence on a daily basis.

Perhaps like most women, you’ve tried desperately to balance the montage of mundane demands and somehow slip God into the white spaces that are few and far between. You long to spend time in the sacred with God, but find the desire crowded out by the responsibilities of the secular—the daily demands—that lay claim to your attention. You yearn to experience God’s presence, but feel far away from Him as you reach to click off the bedside lamp and collapse exhausted once again. Maybe tomorrow, you sigh.

The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life (click to tweet).

As the Psalmist wrote, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing” (Psalm 39:6 NLT).

Ann Voskamp echoes that lament: “In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear.”

And in that unholy smear, that blur of the world passing quickly by, we know something’s not quite right. So we strike out to make it all better. And most of us are quick to think ‘something more’ means ‘doing more.’ We ramp it up and gun the engines—sign up for a new committee, volunteer for a new cause, bake one more casserole to feed the sick. We attempt to silence the hunger pains of the heart by feeding it the bread and water of duty.

And at the end of the day, while we might feel a self-induced sense of well-being, the hollowness in our soul that can only be satisfied with God echoes with the grumblings of hunger still.

We long for a sense of closeness with God, but we have a hard time putting our finger on exactly what that closeness would look like.

It’s just something more. Something different.

A flavor we have yet to taste.
A country we have yet to visit.
A sunset we have yet to experience.
A lover we have yet to embrace.
There has to be something more, we cry! And we are quite right.

We are craving the closeness that comes with an intimate relationship with Jesus.

So we try so harder. We go to Bible studies, attend church, say our prayers, and read our devotions.

Check, check, check.

And yet, we constantly feel that we are somehow letting God down.

With the last amen of the day, we sigh, What more does God want from me?

And here’s the thing. We’re asking the wrong question. It is not what God wants from you. It is what God wants for you.
Abundant life (John 10:10).
Constant communion with Him.
Intimate union with Him.

He’s inviting you into intimate union. Right now. Right where you are.

Perhaps you need to stop trying to get what you already have and simply grab hold.

An intimate relationship with God is not meant to be so hard. It is simply an awareness of His presence as you live and move and have your being in Him.

If you’re ready to experience all that God has for you, right here, right now–if you want to experience moments of sudden glory where God makes Himself known to you in all of life, then leave a comment that says, “I’m ready, God.” Then be on the lookout for God’s fingerprints on the pages of your life.

Sudden-Glory-SliderFor more on God’s lavish response to YOUR ache for something more, see my book A Sudden Glory. 

Congratulations to Connie Diane Bonner Leatherwood, the winner from the random drawing from my last post’s comments! She will receive a free copy of Knowing God by Name!!!

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Comments 166

  1. Thank you! I needed that. I woke early today (4:30am) and wanted desperately to calm that glory ache. So thankful to see your email. I read all of Psalm 39. I thought busyness was only a modern problem. Silly me! God just amazes me!
    I’m going on a medical mission to Haiti this week and am finding myself stressed and busy. So thankful that God woke me and allowed me to see in His word exactly what I needed. Blessings, Renea.

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      I pray you have a wonderful time in Haiti and that God will speak to you in a powerful way! I pray you will have many moments of sudden glory!!!

  2. I can so relate to what you shared.I often times feel like a blank piece of paper.So empty and void of any life.

  3. I’m ready God! I want desperately to not just “know of you” but to “know you”! Thank you Sharon for once again sending a word just when I need it most.

  4. I learned about that intimate relationship 3 years ago when I spent 47 days trapped in a hospital bed with kidney & liver failure. God delivered me & showed me the sudden glory of just waiting in his presence. I now spend every day walking in a deeper intimate relationship with him.

  5. I want to be ready?! The SPIRIT is willing but the flesh is weak. Pray my strength in the LORD. Help me Lord to be discerning to your plan and aware of the demands of my flesh in the mighty name of JESUS -A-men.

  6. I remember when I was first saved, it was a wonderful feeling I can’t describe correctly and I remember hearing a comment from a coworker that I had a glow about me, which I know was the wonderful glory of GOD, that has been years ago and since then I have had times of struggle when I have felt that GOD wasn’t near, I wondered if it was because I wasn’t doing enough or the right things but today I feel like GOD is always with me and HIS presence is always there, I might not feel it at times because I’m use to it but it doesn’t have to be the supernatural experiences it once was because I know HE is with me and even when HE doesn’t feel near my faith and belief in HIM has to remind me that he isalways there.

  7. There was a time in my life, when my beloved late husband was very sick, that I had the little routine of my early morning with God. I was not a new Christian but was definitely new at learning how to converse with Him and letting myself fall into His presence. Each morning He met me in our place (a childless nursery I decided to turn into a prayer room instead). I purposely halted all the busyness of my torn life when I entered that space. Ive never been an early riser but back then, I’d be up at 5am (or anytime I could not sleep) thirsting for His presence which became more palpable each day. No matter what was happening in my life, 5 to 6am was when I met with God. The strength of that connection is since then lost and I’ve wandered in the desert. Thank you that your words helped me to remember to stop the insanity of thinking that doing more works…I have started a new morning routine, as I open my eyes I make the sign of the cross and calll unto God. “Good morning my child,” He beckons and so I reach for my iPad and read my chosen devotional, read His word, and open myself to His presence…each day I wait patiently and faithfully knowing He is here with me, it is just my ‘reception’ that needs tweaking. I AM READY GOD!

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  8. That devotional was exactly how I have been feeling…Thank you for you words to let me know what is going on…I AM READY GOD!

  9. I am ready God! You are my Jehovah Jireh-provider, El Elyon-most high, El Roi-see everything, El Shaddai-almighty!!!

  10. I’m ready God. I like the artwork and the Scripture including the quote by Ann V. that is so fitting for this day and age in which some of us are struggling to break free of chains of unnecessary busyness. Thank God He has made all things beautiful in His Time. Praise the Name of Jesus Christ, that we can sit calmly at His Feet with girlfriends in God.

  11. So many of us with the same thoughts. I’ve thought exactly the words to that letter many times. I had that relationship for a while when I went through a few devotionals and readings that really spoke to me. I still long for that again, to know God speaking to me, to know his love for me truly, and to grow closer to him. How to tame that wandering mind, that doesn’t focus on God, how to find a more appropriate time to share with Him. I struggle so much with prayer. I started a journal when doing “Knowing God by name:” and the psalm adventure. I can’t focus on praying for a period of time. I know he answered many of my prayers in my journal, but it takes a lot longer. I pray I can learn to focus on Him, to focus on prayer, to praise him again, and know all that he has for me. I’ve truly had that glory ache for a long time. Come near to me Lord, show me what you have for me and help me know your presence in the midst of my crazy busy days.

  12. I am ready God. I am not going anywhere with out You; as I watch for Your finger prints in my life to praise and glorify You with all my heart; Thank you Lord for this message that helped touch me deeply.Bless Your ministry of all these wonderfully made women.. In Jesus name Amen.

  13. I wasn’t able to make the link work for the tweet. It is a fantastic quote! I hope you will tweet it, so I can retweet it. I did tweet your article, though. It is excellent!

  14. I am ready God.sometimes the ache is in my heart and I want so much to experience God and feel him overwhelming me ,, and yet i feel so far at times, I love him with all my spirit, soul ,might and being,I cannot see my life without the Holy Spirit, without Jesus , without the Father

  15. I am so ready God!!!!

    Thank you for this message, I have been for years been thinking and wondering what more does God want from me and why am I not moving like other’s around me seem to be moving. It has always left me in a state that maybe I was not doing something right or that I will never have that intimate relationship with God that I so desire.

    I am trying to use this year for growth and I have seem God’s work in my life and I am just so thankful for his word and those such as yourself who express what God places on their hearts to help someone like me who just may need that little encouragement to keep going and to confirm that God really does love me and wants more for me.

  16. “I’m ready, God.” Thank for this today. I have been looking and looking for more when it was right here in front of me!

  17. I am so ready. I get up each morning, grab a cup of coffee and then my Bible. I read the Bible, a couple chapters a day and then by mid morning I feel so let down because I can’t recall what I read that morning. I have my prayer time and I silently wait to hear God’s voice and when I don’t hear anything I wonder sometimes, is it worth it? and I know it is in my head but it looses connection somewhere between my head and my heart. I truly want to know God’s Word and ask him before I begin to open my understanding, open my eyes and heart to see why this message was written and how I can apply it to my life. And it seems like since I can’t remember what I have read earlier that I want to stop reading it. I haven’t stopped yet, but I think, what is the use? I can’t remember it anyway. So yes, I am so ready.

    1. Hi my name is mary and you are not alone. I feel that way except the Word comes out of me when praying for others. I am a Warrior for the Lord. I just feel like there is so much more that I am missing out on. I was an addict for 24 yes of my life and the lord delivered me overnight. Its been 13 years now. Praise God. Praying for you.:-)

  18. First there is the busyness and then there is the lack of connection. I know when I begin my day with God everything flows much better, but I’m still waiting for that wow moment when I get what God wants me from me. But Sharon said it so well, it’s not what he wants from me but for me! I want to experience joy and peace and I think God wants that for me too. That is the longing of my heart!

  19. I am ready Lord! As I was reading this, I thought this was me. I keep forgetting its not what God wants from me but what God wants for me.

    Thank you for all you do!

  20. Thank you so much for this post. It really hits home–I have had these same thoughts more times than I can count. In fact, I was just thinking some of them last night, again going over my life and wishing that I had that close, intimate relationship with Him that others talk about and that you read about in books. It is helpful to know that I am not alone.

    I am ready God!

  21. I am so ready God!! That email could have been mine – grown up knowing and loving God but always felt “jealous” of those who really “experienced” God – his closeness, knowing that they are doing God’s will.

  22. I am ready…it’s a relationship….it’s a time investment…just like our human relationships…you invest….time…we don’t always get it perfect…but we give ourselves the freedom to not be perfect…He just wants time with me and I just want TIME with Him….have you ever had a date with Jesus? A special date? I took a day off from work for my “Date with Jesus”…best date of my life! Woke up and got dressed up…and we went and had coffee…I prayed and listened….then we went to a little pond….I studied with Him and communicated…just as if He was physically there…then we had lunch together…I prayed for a special gift….just from Him…I collect crosses as reminders…So natural…I was thinking about the special cross I would feel drawn to by Him….but when I went into I believe Michaels ready to bee line it to the crosses….there set a bucket of the most beautiful silk roses…and I just felt Him say this is from me…it now is on my nightstand to remind me of our date….things have never been the same since….I now reserve every Sunday to go sit by thE pond….just Jesus and I…it is our time… 🙂

    1. Dear Christi, I am so sorry you lost your child. I have had two miscarriages in my life, and I can empathize with what you are feeling. If you are interested, there is an excellent book by Jack Hayford called “I’ll Hold You In Heaven.” It helped me immensely. Take as much time as you need to grieve; don’t let anyone rush you. I wish I could hug you and help you through this time. May you feel God’s presence more closely than you ever thought possible.

  23. Hi Sharon, I am kalyani from India. I have been feeling that same way that something is missing. Not only reading bible, going to church and saying daily prayers, I have also at-times spoken in my church as God led my pastor, I am an intercessor at church, always praying with and for my brother and sisters in Christ, and something was missing. That something missing thought was eating me so much that it actually had driven me away from God. But This word literally opened my heart once again and I understand God doesn’t want anything from, infact he’s always believed in Giving.. So From now on I’ll concentrate on what God wants FOR Me…
    Stay Blessed.

  24. “I’m ready for more of YOU Father God”!
    ( Sharon, a big Thank You for all you do to help us grow in our Lord JESUS, & all blessings for you)

  25. I am ready, God.

    Sharon, thanks for this message. I thought I was so busy that it took me a couple of days to even read your message. It kept calling me as I skipped over it and continued reading my other emails. My quiet time in the morning has turned into my time checking emails and surfing the net instead of my quiet time with God. Thanks for the reminder. I plan on making a change today.

  26. I am ready God.
    Sharon thank you so much for this website ,I started reading your blog last night ,the blog on ” past experience /scar ” that can be a good testimonies to save others .
    I have past experiences ,I always keep it within me and sharing it to others is something that I would not do.Thank you for your teaching and this has made me strong and I am ready to give my testimonies through.

  27. I am soooo ready for what God wants for me… like so many others I aslo felt disconnected to God, but I was good for me to read this devotional and read the testimony for these followers to know I am not allow in my thinking…Lord, please hear my cry..I am ready!!!!…

  28. I am ready, God!
    I have been on this exact quest for a little over a year now. You put into words ALL that I am feeling, & looking for!! Would your book be appropriate to use as a Bible study? My sister and I just committed LAST NIGHT to do a Bible study together, and we set aside today to look and see what books we might use! I’m excited. I know that there is a reason that God led me here!

  29. I am sitting outside the gate at work…waiting to open as I am reading through this…and my heart is filled with so much joy…HE LOVES ME…my soul exclaims…and I realized God has been waiting so long for me to truly understand and embrace this…I did not realize the burden I have been carrying so long…feeling unworthy of his love…not expecting greatness…feeling like not being where I want to be right now in life is just what I get for the choices ive made…but HE LOVES ME and wants me too have a life more abundant and all he asks is if I truly understand and accept the love he has for me and I am ready to love him in return…YES LORD…I understand…I accept and I AM READY!

  30. I AM READY GOD!!!! Use me as your vessel to help and comfort others. I was lost Lord. Through all the struggles throughout my life. In all of the lows, I always wondered why you would keep allowing these things to happen to me. But now, as my relationship becomes more intimate with you and my faith builds in you, and I know that I am nothing without you. That no matter what I may want or try to help/change a situation…you have already predestined it to happen. You’ve taught me to trust in you and have patience because you and only you know what is best for me!!! I have always felt a higher calling for me through life, but never knew what it was. But as I go through my trials and tribulations, even as I am in one as we speak…I am at peace and I am waiting patiently on you. I look back at my life and everything that has happened to me….abortions, adultery, physical and emotional abuse, alcohol, drugs, self esteem issues, being a single mom; and know that there is a bigger purpose for my life. My scars have meaning to them and purpose! I can finally hear your calling for me Lord! I just pray now that you give me the courage to step out in faith and be obedient in your request. That you give me the drive, strength, determination, will, faith, courage and constant nudge that I so desperately need to bring this to fruition. I AM READY GOD!!!!!

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