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.
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.
For 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!!!