Everyone experiences an ache at some point in their life, the longing for something different, better, richer. Often, this ache flows from relational wants and needs. Perhaps it settles in when you think of growing old by yourself, when that longing for children reappears, when you’ve lost someone and a deep void is left in their absence?
Aches can flow from circumstantial situations as well: the desire for financial security, a home that has been lost, over health and abilities that have been ruthlessly taken!
The Practice of Contentment
I’ve been trying to practice contentment once again. I often struggle to find it after having lost so much. I did so enjoy the life I had! But still, I try. I count my blessings. It helps, but often contentment eludes my grasp. When reached, it doesn’t take long before it settles back over my soul.
As the pattern continued to play out in my life, I began to realize that a lack of contentment isn’t all bad. Suddenly I realized that often, it’s the very thing that pushes us forward! Without it, the baby wouldn’t become a toddler, the teenager wouldn’t search for life’s answers and the adult wouldn’t pursue life passions.
Should we be capable of true contentment when faced with the imperfect, the blemished, with brokenness and selfishness? I think not!
The Ache I Experience
The ache is there once again. This time, it settles softly and wistfully when I think of owning land and creating a home. I long for the day when we can pour our labor and efforts into something that is our own. The day we can create our domain on this earth, a piece of land over which we can exercise God-given authority.
With having lost so much, living in God’s natural world has become a deeply refreshing element of my life. I crave a simple life surrounded by quietness of nature, working of land, of sharing it with others. Often, I find myself discontent, waiting and looking ahead. Satisfied I am not! I know it full well.
The Ache Is a Reminder
It’s true that beautiful, raw nature fill something deep inside of me. But its also true that no parcel of land, cottage, barn or number of animals, gardens, flowers or fruit trees can truly fill the gap.
A complete filling of that gap is reserved for heaven. It reminds me to keep things of second importance in their place. It reminds me why I am here. Not to live in and soak up the wild beauty of nature; it was created from pure joy that my eyes might be lifted to the Designer of it.
Aches are there because things are not as they ought to be. Something deep inside of me knows it. Those around me know it. Something is not right. And that drives us to find answers.
In this case, I’m learning to let that ache serve as a reminder that life is not about here and now.
In every ache and longing, let it lift our eyes to something greater, set our hope on Someone who can make all things right, Someone who will, one day.
And with Him, I shall be content while I ache for something more. He is coming to set all things right. He will.