The Emptiness Within

“There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us.” I’m sure you’ve all heard that idea. Maybe you’ve even used it in your evangelism to explain the deep emptiness that resides within every human being.

Is it a biblical concept, though? I wonder. I’ve heard arguments both ways. For one thing, how is it possible that the God who fills the universe could fit into a hole somewhere inside a human body?

Possibly the first to express the idea clearly is Blaise Pascal, 17th century mathematician, philosopher and theologian.

He said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.”

I’m sure there are problems with the idea that the more theologically astute could explain. But in fact, it’s not that far removed from what Jesus told the crowd that followed Him to Capernaum in John 6:22-29.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal” [John 6:6-27].

It sounds to me like Jesus is telling the crowd that they are concerned with filling the wrong hole. Their only interest is filling their bellies. Or to be more precise, getting Jesus to fill their bellies – again.

But Jesus is telling them that they should be more concerned with getting spiritual food than physical food. Doesn’t that imply that there is – somewhere inside us – a region that gets nourished – not by bread, but by the food that only He can provide?

All of us seem to have some sort of emptiness within. Most of us are pretty good at ignoring it, or at filling it with earthly goods and trinkets.

I’m sure we’ve all found that ‘the stuff of earth’ has a very limited lifespan when it comes to satisfaction. No matter how good that new car is, or new job, or new phone, or new set of golf clubs, it’s only a matter of time before we get bored with it, or it breaks down.

So we discard it for a newer one, a better one. Or we move on to something entirely different in a desperate attempt to recapture the pleasure we had before.

It’s an endless cycle. Buy, consume, discard. Buy, consume, discard. Or in the case of the crowd following Jesus, eat, get hungry again, eat, get hungry again.

Where do we find food that sustains us forever? Pleasures that continue to delight, never losing their gloss?

Only in one place. Or more accurately, only in one person – Jesus Christ. “… (work) for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”

Or as He told the woman at the well back in John 4, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” [John 4:13-14].

Jesus supplies us with nourishment and refreshment that is just not available from any other source – not from any other source.

And the food and drink He supplies is so life-giving that it results in eternal life.

How do I get it, you ask? They crowd asked the same question. “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” [John 6:28-29].

There it is – believe – believe in Jesus. Doesn’t sound very hard now, does it? Do that, and He will provide all the nourishment you need for eternity.

And He will provide it for free – guaranteed. Won’t you do that today? Won’t you put your trust in the only source of nourishment for your soul – Jesus Christ. He won’t let you down. He won’t leave you hungry.

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