The Ache

WORDS FROM W.W. November 1, 2011

It’s a tough time!
Almost all of us have been through them. They take different forms- loss of jobs, fractured relationships, serious illness, mounting expenses, loss of life. The past couple of weeks have been a tough dark tunnel for me. Two people I’ve known for a long time passed away. My mom’s health has slipped at a quickening pace. And then there was the bronchitis issue!
On top of that there are a number of life stressing situations that people of my congregation are dealing with that have no easy answers.
It produces “the ache”, that internal moan that is void of peace, and the antonym of comfort. The ache intensifies and suppresses joy. It is unsettling and lonely. The anxiety of the ache is connected to the uncertainty of its time table. How long will it be within me? Will I wake up one morning and discover that its gone? Will it lessen in intensity? Will I come to a place that I no longer recover the pain, but consider it as a part of my existence, kind of like aching knees in the morning and a tooth that always throbs?
What comfort I receive in the midst of this is knowing that so much of the Bible is written by those who were experiencing the ache? So many of the Psalms are about trials, tribulations, discouragement, and fear. Ecclesiastes has the reoccurring theme of meaninglessness. Lamentations I not a title for a happy book. The prophets were led to write and prophesy about the ache of God, as he encountered the various betrayals and apathy of his people. Paul writes about the thorn in his side, the ache in his life.
It is good to know that those who have been close to God all down through history have dealt with the ache. There’s a sense of journeying together with those who have gone before, and yet there is also that sense of “deadness” that is a part of me.
The ache of “the dessert” causes us to draw closer to God or drift further away. It is an experience that we can not stay the same as a result of.
And so I seek a deep intimacy in which the embrace of God will be sensed in more profound ways. I pray the words of the psalmist: “O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.” (Psalm 88:1-3)
If David could pray that, and yet at another time pray, “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:1-2)
It gives me hope.

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One Comment on “The Ache”

  1. Pasture Bill Says:

    Paster Bill, It seams that no mater what ever is goin on in our life we tind to get hurt emoshanaly and fisiclecalely hurt and we ace from it all. I belive that when we give all ourtrubes to him ad he’ll cary it all, pervided we let him.

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