Every person on this planet, past and present, wrestles with a desire for fullness.
17th century philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal understood this need. He wrote in his book Penses (French for “thoughts”) one of the most profound statements that Christians use to describe what we do when we are looking for this purpose and meaning in our life:
What else does this craving and this helplessness proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness of which all that now remains the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God Himself ”.
We try to cram whatever we can into that God-shaped hole, that God-shaped abyss.
We fill it with all kinds of tangible and intangibles. Stuff it with artificial fillers.
So we’re left empty, hungry.
I have a quirky friend who is a Marketing/Advertising consultant. Every once in a while he tells me that he probably understands human sin better than anybody else because that’s all that he does all day long.
He sells products and services to satisfy our internal abyss, suggesting a cure, a fill.
We believe the lie. We buy. We find ourselves dissatisfied.
Marketing/Advertising consultants know us better than we do. They move us to buy by building on fear. They understand human sin.
We Christians live in this world. We live in a world where sin is all around us.
But God knows what we need and that we are seeking. He understands that we will fill ourselves with empty substitutes.
Jesus states in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew. 5:6).
He responds to our deep desire for meaning, purpose and happiness. He even understands our self-serving striving and attempts to fill ourselves with what leaves us emptier than before.
He tells us the way of blessing and hope. So we can stop depending on:
Money and wealth.
Even within God’s purposed beautiful covenant of marriage, a day arrives when we’ll be disappointed and lonely. Even in a good marriage.
And we’ll let our spouse, children and others down.
There’s only one thing that satisfies our hunger; God himself. Only steady communion with Him, with our hearts set on Him will satisfy the hungry soul.
“But seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
What’s in your abyss? What needs to go to make room for God?