By Larissa V
Down. It hits me when I least expect it. Emptiness. Darkness. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know how it got here. Numbness. Despair. Hurt and fear. When I stop and listen, it’s there. It come in waves, or drips in like a faucet. It makes its home unwelcomed. It stays well past its expiration date.
It’s here, and I don’t know how to get it to leave. I know temporary cures. Business. Activities. Laughter. Movies. Books. Pursuits. Passion. Plans. Dreams. Achievements...
But they are just that, temporary. The minute things don’t meet my expectations, my needs, they fall through the hole I have been trying to patch. That hole that grows larger yet shrinks at other times. That hole that stubbornness and pride refuses to let close. That hole that makes me want to throw something at someone when they say only Jesus can fill it...even if it is true.
Jesus might be the only thing that can fill it, but I’m dealing with my flesh. That carnal part of my body that fights and runs from holiness. That part of me which, for a short time, can walk the walk and talk the talk, but then reality comes in and tears me apart. To know I need to live by his strength, and yet find myself in this never-ending battle of self-dependency.
I want the hole to fill. I want sustenance to come from Him, but what happens if, on this earth, that will never be? Then what? We weren’t made for this earth, so do you still strive for it? Do you still fight to win an uphill battle? Or do you give up? Resign yourself to failure? Pursue the temporal things of this world?
As much as I try to run after those other things (relationships, career success, power, wealth, the night life, beauty, perfectionism, possessions, etc) the reality is, the knowledge that it can't sustain haunts me. At these times naivete seems bliss. I could spend my whole life pursuing one thing after another to find wholeness and fulfillment, not having the foreknowledge that it wouldn’t. Temporarily it would. Permanently it couldn’t.
At times that sounds better than having one option staring me back. The one option that I know is true, but that no amount of running, fighting, grasping, kicking, and screaming will get me there...on my own. Isn’t that what this is all about? Doing this on my own? Finding the soft spongy completeness to fill my hole?
I know in my head that isn’t true, but too often in my heart it feels that way. Life apart from the Lord is darkness. Life with the Lord is hard. My options are darkness or difficulties and trials. At least the difficulties and trials though are in the light, and temporary.
Oh, how we are not made for this world! Oh, how this reminds me of my daily need for God! Oh, how my hole so desperately wants to find comfort elsewhere! But it is in the elsewhere that the hole only gets bigger and bigger. Not better, just bigger. Bigger as I continue to recognize my larger and larger need for Christ.
My hole. A daily reminder that this life is not meant for fulfillment and completeness. In fact this life is to remind us daily of our need. Our need for a Savior. Jesus.
With what are you trying to fill your heart? How is it working for you?