Empty Places

Empty PlacesDanaRongione.com.jpg

After scavenging through the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, a man stands back and declares, "There's nothing to eat!"

A woman (who may or may not have red hair) peruses her closet for twenty minutes only to conclude she has nothing to wear that day.

A couple sits together on the couch in the quiet of the evening, mindlessly flipping through the channels on the television.  Two hundred channels later, they come to the same conclusion:  there's nothing to watch.

Nothing to eat.  Nothing to wear.  Nothing to watch.  Exaggerated statements.  Flawed.  Downright false.  We say there is nothing, but what we mean is there is nothing I want.  Why do we do that?  How is it possible that we can be so blessed, so filled, so fulfilled, yet see our lives as so empty at the same time?  Perhaps it's because we're trying to fill ourselves with the wrong things.

Are you familiar with the shape cube toys parents and teachers use to help educate their young children?  The cube is designed with cutouts of various shapes:  circle, square, triangle, diamond, etc.  Then, there is a small block in each of those shapes that, when placed in the proper cutout, will smooth go into the central cube.  The key is to match the blocks with the cutouts of that same shape.  Inevitably, there is much trial and error for the child, as they struggle to determine why some blocks slide right in and others don't.  I think we're the same way.  While we're not sitting on the floor trying to squeeze a triangle block into a circular hole, we are trying to fill a God-shaped void with so many other things.  

I'm not talking about salvation here though you'll never find complete fulfillment outside of Christ, so if you do not have a personal relationship with Him, that's your first step.  But, what I'm talking about here is finding our worth and satisfaction in things that can never fully complete us. Sure, that job may be great and make you feel like "somebody," but sooner or later, that job will disappear or that feeling will be replaced with stress and resentment.  The new relationship makes you feel loved and appreciated, but what happens when the newness wears off, and things change?  Having money in the bank gives you a sense of security and peace, but suddenly, hard times come, and that nest egg becomes an omelet.  What then?  Jobs, relationships, and money are fine, but they're temporary.  They cannot fulfill or satisfy us on a long-term basis, which is why we always feel empty, searching for something different, something more.

Our worth, purpose, and satisfaction can only be found in God.  Because He never changes, we can depend on Him no matter what life throws our way.  He is always there and ever-faithful.  He can make us feel like "somebody" more than any job ever could.  He can love us as no one else can.  As for security and peace, that's what He's known for!  We don't have to have wealth, relationships, a great job or anything else to fill the empty places in our lives.  We only need God. We need to daily fill ourselves with His Word, to think of Him throughout the day, to live in a way that's pleasing to Him.  When He is our focus, we will find our lives are complete, lacking nothing.

So, how are you filling those empty places in your life?  Are your schedules, closets and bank accounts full, yet you still find yourself thinking, I have nothing?  Stop trying to fit the square block in the round hole.  That God-shaped hole in your life will only be complete with one thing:  God!

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
— Psalm 73:25-26