The good news is that “something more” does not mean “doing more.” God is not waiting for you to get your spiritual life “right.” He wants to be with you right where you are.
The real question is not “What does God want from you?” but “What does God want for you?”
Sharon Jaynes understands what it’s like to have a “glory ache”—a longing to experience God’s presence on a daily basis. She also knows how easily working for God can get in the way of intimacy with God. And she’s discovered that we tend to make our faith journey much too hard.
In A Sudden Glory, Sharon uses Scripture and story to help you erase the line between your “spiritual life” and your “daily life” as you enter the sanctuary of God’s presence even in the middle of your busy, messy day. Here you will find your eyes opened to moments of sudden glory in which the Creator assures you of His love as you live and move and have your being in Him. Here you will discover true freedom—the freedom of experiencing God in a deeper and more intimate way than ever before.
Includes Bible study and discussion guide.
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Glory Ache
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace.
—A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
It happened again.
I was not surprised.
Her words of frustration and longing spilled from her heart to my e-mail inbox.
I have lived a very blessed life. I have been married to the same man for forty years. I have four beautiful daughters, who seem to have married the perfect mates, and nine wonderful grandchildren. I was raised in a Christian home, and my mother is still alive and healthy at eighty-five years old. My husband is retired, and we are living comfortably. I have never been abused or mistreated. I have friends, and most would say that I am a happy person. And yet, something is missing. With all the good things in my life, all I really want is a close relationship with Jesus.
I am trying, I really am. Even though I was raised in church, I married a Jewish man and drifted away from God. I gave my life to Christ at a women’s Christian meeting fifteen years ago and have been pursuing God ever since. I felt that recommitment was necessary for me. It was a new beginning. Now I do an online Bible study, am an active member of a local church, visit a shut-in once a month, and help with vacation Bible school. I have taught Sunday school, and I attend church regularly and pray daily.
I have been reading and studying the Bible and know that when you seek forgiveness, it is given. I have asked God to forgive me of the choices I have made and believe that He has. Now I am asking God to let me know what His purpose is for my life. What does He want from me? What does He have planned for me? I am trying very hard to listen for His direction. I am willing to follow His path, whenever I realize what that is.
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 have worked on identifying my sins, thinking that this might help me feel closer to God. I am working on not gossiping and not being prideful or vain. I am always working on my patience. I don’t have any serious vices, but I am constantly working on self-improvement. 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?
Oh, Stephanie, I whispered, no you are not alone. Your words echo the longings of women all around the world, and I dare say, through the ages. Why is feeling close to God so hard? Why does this faith journey seem so difficult?
There Must Be Something More
This was the first time I had heard from Stephanie but not the first time I had heard the heart-cry. The particulars of her story were different, but I had heard the same longing from countless others.
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?
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.
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.
Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone.
The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. 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.”1
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 souls 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 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?
One January morning a few years ago, I asked God that same question. I had just finished a big writing project and was ready to tackle the next big thing for God. I snuggled in my favorite den chair with a steamy cup of coffee and my well-worn Bible to spend some alone time with my heavenly Father. I read a few verses and said my prayer. Check. Check. When I started to get up, I felt God’s invisible strong hand holding me back. He wasn’t finished. Be still, and
know that I am God, He seemed to say. Cease striving.
Suddenly I saw myself with the disciples caught on the stormy Sea of Galilee. As I pondered the past twenty-five years of my life, I saw myself reeling in the waves of ceaseless activity. A squall of busyness raging around me—and in me. Reeling from one foamy crest of work and deadlines to the next and hanging on for dear life. In my mind’s eye, the fellow passengers were not the motley crew of first-century disciples but women from every walk, trying to steady themselves in the turbulent waters of life.
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” they asked. “Help us!”
Then I sensed Jesus speaking to me just as He had spoken to the raucous wind and waves: “Quiet! Be still! Settle down!”
So I sat.
After a few moments, I realized I didn’t really know how to be quiet and settle down. I had never mastered the full idea of “be still and know.” I knew that God was God. It was the “be still” part that stumped me. Sitting still was not in my nature, and perhaps it was my nature that God was trying to tame. My “nature,” or natural bent of working for God, was standing in the way of my worship of and communion with God. My daily routine of sanctioned quiet times was getting in the way of the divine romance in which He wanted me to engage.
Table of Contents
1 The Glory Ache 1
2 Recognizing God's Passionate Pursuit 19
3 Living in Sacred Union 40
4 Joining God in Continual Conversation 64
5 Daring to Raise Your Expectations 86
6 Saving Yes to God's Divine Dance 107
7 Trusting God in Tough Times 132
8 Seeing God Through the Lens of Gratitude and Grace 151
9 Choosing Intimate Relationship over Routine Religion 168
10 From Glory to Glory 188
A Sudden Glory-Your Journaling Space 198
Study Guide 200
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sharon Jaynes in her new book, “A Sudden Glory” published by Waterbrook Press shows us God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. From the inside jacket flap: Do you long for something more in your relationship with God? The good news is that “something more” does not mean “doing more.” God is not waiting for you to get your spiritual life “right.” He wants to be with you right where you are. The real question is not “What does God want from you?” but “What does God want for you?” Sharon Jaynes understands what it’s like to have a “glory ache”—a longing to experience God’s presence on a daily basis. She also knows how easily working for God can get in the way of intimacy with God. And she’s discovered that we tend to make our faith journey much too hard. In A Sudden Glory, Sharon uses Scripture and story to help you erase the line between your “spiritual life” and your “daily life” as you enter the sanctuary of God’s presence even in the middle of your busy, messy day. Here you will find your eyes opened to moments of sudden glory in which the Creator assures you of His love as you live and move and have your being in Him. Here you will discover true freedom—the freedom of experiencing God in a deeper and more intimate way than ever before. Includes Bible study and discussion guide. There came a point where Moses couldn’t stand it anymore and he cried out to God, “Show me your glory.” Sharon Jaynes feels that we all have that deep need in us to see God’s glory and she calls it the “glory ache”, a persistent longing to experience God’s presence on a daily basis. We sometimes try to find His glory by being busy, figuring that maybe God will be so happy with what we have done for Him that He will manifest Himself with His glory. However that is not the way God operates. Ms. Jaynes tells the story of the tightrope walker over Niagara Falls who wanted to really cement his reputation by walking with another person on his back across the rope. He told his partner, who was scared silly, that they must become one. When the tightrope walked swayed the other must sway, if they didn’t move as one, if the other adjusted himself both were going into the Falls to their death. The disciples were in a boat in a terrible storm and went to Jesus fearing for their lives because He was asleep in the boat. What they forgot entirely was that He was in the boat with them and He was in charge. Ms. Jaynes gives us the ability to refocus on thinking so that we zero in more on Jesus and less on our circumstances. When we do that we find ourselves more alert to the presence of God and then we get to fill our “glory ache”. Ms. Jaynes does a much better job in her book, “A Sudden Glory” then I ever will. I recommend reading this book and experiencing how to see the glory of God for yourself. You will be blessed. This is not a book that you will read once and then forget about it. It is a book that you will come back to again and again because we let ourselves get busy and we forget. Your family and friends would also benefit from receiving this book as a gift. They will read, be blessed, and thank you for thinking of them. I recommend this book highly! If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Sharon Jaynes who has written several books and is international speaker. In A Sudden Glory, Sharon challenges the readers with an idea that we can see God's Glory in everything and that our longing to be in his presence can be fulfilled. On a daily basis, the grind of life can leave us feeling empty. Taking care of the kids, going to work, driving the kids around, paying bills, cooking dinners, working out, returning phone calls, checking email and meeting the needs of others can leave you feeling down, empty and unfulfilled. More than the daily grind, we lose can sigh of the Glory of God because we have a hard time experiencing him and finding him in the everyday situations. Have you been pursuing a relationship with God for years, but always feel like your a cat chasing your tail? Are you going in circles? Instead of asking God what he wants from us, we should ask what does he want for us? I love this! She also saws another powerful statement. " God will make himself know, if you live and move and have your being in him." That was so powerful to me.. How many times am I aching for the glory of God, but going my own way?? That statement hit me! Another thing that hit me in the head was my own personal lack of obedience. How often do we act as if we have all the time in the world to do whatever we want and eventually we will be obedient to what God is calling us to do?? That's a good one huh? You will love how authentic Sharon is in this book and it will make you feel at home. She writes this book so well and make the reader see how you can find the glory of God in obedience, in the every day pitfall and in the glimpses of Heaven. We need to be able to look beyond the situation and find that God will satisfy our ache. He will give us something beyond the instant gratification and it will be much more glorious. If you are looking for God in the every day, this scripture based book will help you find the glory of God! I received this book free from the publisher. The oponions expressed our my own and I was not required to write a positive review.
A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes is an inspirational new book written for women who are seeking to start or strengthen their relationship with God. This book is for any reader who wants more out of life. While this book does not address the needs of those readers experiencing a major crisis, grief or extreme hardship, this book, nevertheless will inspire those readers who simply want more out of their ordinary, mundane comfortable lives. This book urges women to "cease striving" based on Psalm 46:10. In otherwords, the author tells the reader to focus less on doing more and accomplishments and to spend more time focusing on prayer and a relationship with God. Contrary to the demands of fast paced modern society, the author tells the reader it is okay to slow down and relax and that this may be required in order to strengthen one's own spirituality. At times this may be self serving for those readers already inclined towards a passive attitude and sloth. But that is not the author's purpose. This advise is directed toward the overworked, overly tired woman who neglects her spiritual life and relationship with God. The author, Sharon Jaynes explains that it is common and natural to feel a void in one's life. It may feel like something is missing yet it is not obvious as to what may be lacking. While our most obvious and basic needs- and then some- are met, we still feel a vacuum. Jaynes calls this a "glory ache" in which we long for something greater; something spiritual- as in a greater purpose determined and directed by God. She explains this is a God planted ache for a greater purpose or glory. The author uses personal anecdotes from her own life. She compares her lack of direction and spiritual dryness to the wandering in the wilderness in the book of Exodus. While personal anecdotes gives a touch of authenticity and a personal connection, for those readers whose lives and circumstances vastly differ and are less than ideal- the personal stories might serve to alienate. Using personal anecdotes involves a trade off- in some cases it fosters a closer bond with the reader while in other- a rift is created. The author uses plenty of bible scripture which is good as it increases the reliability factor of this work. There are two pages of lined journal space near the end of the book- a nice touch, but not enough to be actually useful. Perhaps it is there to serve as a suggestion or hint for the reader to keep her own- separate- journal. The beautiful butterfly clip art accents make the text more inviting. Also included is a helpful thorough study guide that readers can use to get the most out of the material presented. It is perfect for serious readers who actually want to follow through with their spiritual growth. This is a good book for anyone who wished to live a more purposeful life in the spirit. As a blogger I received this book published by Water Brook Multnomah publishers for the purpose of writing this review.
Bought this book for an on-line Bible Study with Sharon Jaynes. It has been a good Bible Study and I have learned a lot.
A Sudden Glory is an almost poetic book, the theme of this book being that God pursues us, that God shows us His Glory, that we have a Glory Ache, a longing for God to fill. God pursues us for He has been pursuing the human heart through the centuries, as Sharon reminds us. "The entire Bible from Genesis Three to Revelation 22:21 is a record of God's passionate pursuit of the human heart. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, a string of kings both good and bad, intermingled with prophets both wooing and warning God's people. We ended the last chapter of the Old Testament with silence. And then four hundred years later God breaks the Holy Hush with the Cry of a Babe in a manger as the story picks back up in Bethlehem." The greatest Saints have always know they are pursued. Saints have always called us the Beloved, the Bride of Christ the Bridegroom. Spurgeon's best sermons, I think, are on the Song of Songs. A W Tozer knew how to pray that he would be pursued. Francis Thompson wrote The Hound Of Heaven, the poem about our flight from God, the relentless Pursuer. This is Sharon's prayer, that we would know we are pursued by God and we would respond. Many women have come to Sharon and asked her how to feel closer to God. They all have one thing in common, they have a Glory Ache. They have a hollowness in them that they need filled, and God alone can fill it. They want God to reveal Himself to them. And these are not wrong desires.It is not wrong to desire to know that God is pursuing us, it is not wrong to ask God to overwhelm us with Himself. It is not wrong to ask Christ to bind us on His arm as a seal, as a seal on His Heart. And that is the Promise we have! We have the promise that we can abide in Him. Not just during Church and spiritual activities, but during all of life. Pray without ceasing, Give thanks in everything. Sing to one another with Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs. These are things to be done all day as we go about our days. All these commands in the New Testament can be summed up in one verse. In God we Live and Move and Have our Being. Perhaps one of the reasons we do not feel God with us is that we have divided the Sacred from the Secular, forgetting that all work done to the Glory of God in noble and sacred. I love this Luther quote. "What you do in your House is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God.We should accustom our selves to think of our position and work as Sacred and well pleasing to God, not on account of the position or work, but on account of the Word and Faith from which the obedience and the work flow." When we Live and Move and have our Being in Christ, we have no secular days, for with Christ all is Sacred. Perhaps part of the reason we feel far from God is that we are not looking for Him? God is pursuing His children, all day and every day. We are not seeing God's love and gifts in the beauty of sunlight shining over the wood kitchen floor. Of making soup. Of seeing bulbs sprout. Of the glow of Christmas lights. This is all part of Living and Moving and having our Being in God. When we live in Christ, we find God lavishing His glory on our life. We find God with us in suffering and trial as well as times of peace. That is when the Sudden Glory comes. It is also worth thinking about how God speaks to us today. I do not believe that Christians are getting revelations from God, but I most certainly believe that God does reveal things to us through Scripture His perfect Word to His children, through circumstances- such as a loved one calling to give us a Scripture verse He had laid on their heart that very day, or a sparrow at our bird feeder that reminds us that a little sparrow cannot fall, unnoticed Lord by Thee, that is Sharon's perspective on this, when she says God speaks to us. I am glad I read this book, there is much meat in it