The Void is Now, but the Sun is Rising.
The Hole That’s Never Filled
I guess in a way we’re all running on empty. What I mean is that we all have this spot in our hearts, this craving for something more, something greater. I think ninety percent of what we do day to day is an attempt to fill that spot. It’s like once our basic needs are met, we realize there’s a need that’s beyond our capabilities of foraging for food or building a home.
And yet, all our efforts to fill it always seem vain. For me, sometimes I think buying new things will help. Or reading a new book, or watching that video on my Facebook feed, as if that’s the video that will change everything.
Some of us even turn to God. Like some divine candy machine who dispenses ultimate fulfillment, we expect God to suddenly fill the ‘Jesus-sized-hole’ in our hearts. Which is true. I absolutely believe that God is the only one who could ever fill that need. In fact, that’s the grand story of the universe, the epic narrative of scripture, a story of a God and a people.
It’s about how the divine came to rescue us, and clean up the cosmic mess we’d made in His kitchen.
But if you’re alive and breathing, and have eyes or ears, you’d notice that the kitchen isn’t clean, yet. There’s still marinara sauce on the curtains, and burnt crumbs on the floors. Somehow, dough is caked to the ceiling, and it looks like a whole tomato hit the fan. Our lives, our relationships, our communities, countries, and our world is a mess. It’s all missing something, and doing things in a way that’s trying to fill that gap, trying to be that something it’s missing. And we’re stuck in a cyclical, tumultuous system of pot-banging, sauce-slinging people and institutions that have no idea how we got in the kitchen, who owns the kitchen, and how the heck to clean it up. So we bang pots and sling sauce on the windows.
Somehow, out of all of that God’s going to make a meal. Somehow, He’s going to put the ingredients together for a world that runs as He designed it to. He’s going to redeem our burnt crumbs and clean the ceiling and curtains. And when He does, we’ll all sit down and enjoy a feast, and be in the presence of God.
That’s an eschatological reality, or a future occurrence that is foretold, and already inaugurated, or initiated.
We have God here and now, and we can have glimpses, experiences of that grand meal here and now. But, the void isn’t ever totally filled. Our stomachs are always going to be kind of empty. Even with God, in church, during worship, communion, and prayer, we’ll come closer and closer in relation and in reality to that coming day. We’ll even bring it into the now, and do things that way here, and change the world. But until it’s all said and done and the Groom comes to His Bride, until Jesus comes back, we’re still going to be stuck in the sticky mess.
I suspect this is why many of us have failed relationships, bad job experiences, sadness, depression, and disappointments. We place this expectation of void-filling God power on the things that currently excite us. Today, we do this by buying things, by being consumers. We also do this with marriage, which I think demonstrates itself in the divorce rate.
Sharing The Longing
Donald Miller, who’s books are life-changing by the way, writes about how we all have this longing. He says that the longing just can’t be filled by anyone or anything. You may get glimpses of the future with God, and for moments have a profound sense of peace that passes understanding, but it will come back. And so the goal of life then shouldn’t be to rid of the longing, but instead to find people to share the longing with. It’s a beautiful process that molds us and shapes us, the sufferings we undergo will make us more Godly. 
So maybe we should learn to live with the longing, and to share it with each other. I think we would all have more intimate, meaningful relationships and lives if we did. Because we may all be longing to see the light, but the sun is rising. One day it will shine, but for now, we must hope. We must work in the breaking dawn to make the light shine as best we can, and then when it arrives, we’ll see the radiance of glory.
- Read Scary Close by Donald Miller. It’s fantastic, honest, and has a lot to say about intimacy and healthy relationships in any sense, romantic or platonic. ↩
Header Image Modified under Creative Commons License Original taken by:Trey Ratcliff