Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
- Psalm 143:1-6
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
- Psalm 23:1
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
- Philippians 4:11
“Not long ago I visited the dean of a great American university. We looked out the window of his office and watched hundreds of students walking to their classes. I asked the dean, ‘What is the greatest problem at this university?’ He thought a moment and answered, ‘Emptiness.’ So many people today are bored, lonely, searching for something. You can see it in their faces. One girl home from college told her wealthy father, ‘Father, I want something but I don’t know what it is.’ That’s true of many people; we want something to meet the deepest problems of our lives, but we haven’t found it. David said, ‘I have found it. I shall not want.’ The Apostle Paul expressed it, ‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.’ You don’t have to give up on life, to throw up your hands and cry, ‘It’s no use.’ … You can have God’s peace, God’s joy, God’s happiness, God’s security; and yours can become the most thrilling life in the world.”
- Billy Graham, Day to Day with Billy Graham (Devotion for September 30)
I was talking to my younger son and mentioned that someone had emptiness in their God-hole.
My son said, “Dad, I think you meant God-shaped hole. God-hole is a new one on me, but…” He paused a little, probably trying to not snicker too loud over the phone. “I guess it works though.” Then we both laughed.
For those that catch my typos when I write, you can see that I make even more typos when I speak. And if you understand that last sentence, let me know.
But my point in our conversation was that this person was searching for something to fill that emptiness. God was the only “Something” that could fill that emptiness. I just said it wrong.
This morning, as of the day writing this, three people were in the waiting room of the out-patient surgical center. We were the third group of people to arrive. The first group was in the registration room. The first couple came out of the registration room, and the registering clerk came around the corner and asked for “Maya.” The person in the trio with a shaved head, tattoos, rings everywhere on the face, a deep boy’s voice, but heavy make-up got up and entered the registration room.
My wife gasped and asked if that was a boy or girl. I was afraid that the mother and sister heard her. I wrote in my notebook. “I think ‘Maya’ is trans.” My wife is especially sensitive to this topic, praying and weeping over all who are lost and trying this method to fill the emptiness.
After both went into surgery, my wife and Maya, the surgical status computer came on to show that both were being prepped. My wife had an endoscopy to see if the ulcers had healed. Those bleeding ulcers that nearly killed her two months ago, thinking that her kidney failure exhaustion was causing her eternal weakness. And YAY!!! The ulcers had healed.
But I looked at the computer screen and the code name “MAYA” was having surgery done by a certain doctor. The code was to provide patient anonymity, but at that point there were only two patients, and I knew the other patient was my wife. The surgeon wanted their name on the screen – free advertising. Out of curiosity, I looked up the doctor, and she was a plastic surgeon who was “very, very sympathetic” and specialized in implants. This young teenager, who was confused and looking for something to fill the emptiness, had found a “very, very sympathetic” doctor who would perform mutilation on this youngster’s body. A year from now, would this person be among the growing statistics of those who have transitioned and found they were missing a different something? Many commit suicide. Many who try to transition back have severe medical issues. Will the doctor be very, very sympathetic then? I guess if she was paid enough, she would sympathetically do just about any surgery, regardless of the consequences.
We could write about this for days, but the point is that there are many who have emptiness in their lives. Billy Graham wrote this devotion book nearly sixty years ago, and the emptiness epidemic has grown. In fact, thinking of the emptiness being worldwide, should we not refer to it as the emptiness pandemic.
COVID can make us sick, and the deathrate has been far exaggerated – yet, many have died. But the Emptiness Pandemic, without repenting and turning to Jesus for salvation, is one hundred percent fatal.
And we need not focus on sexual conversions, and such, as the first step to fill the emptiness. It is the growing fad. The fads of the past have been drugs and alcohol. Theft may not be trendy, but in the days when there were the rich and the poor, some of the poor robbed from the rich and kept it (just to differentiate from Robin Hood). I have heard that some people had done “everything” and never found anything to cure the emptiness. They had never accepted Jesus, and could not say they had done “everything,” but they used the word in their defense during their murder trial. They killed someone for only one reason. They were empty and they had tried everything else (except God) to fill that emptiness.
There are less lethal things that people do. Some try thrills and adventure. Sometimes that can be lethal, but within boundaries, with supervision, it is not as lethal as some things already mentioned. The only problem is that when the thrill is over and the hormone levels dip below the excitement level, the body craves those hormones even more. The emptiness feels even greater, and the next thrill must be even more death defying.
Travel is less of a high, but there is a cost – the cost. Travel is great until the money runs out. Oh, I forgot, fix it the way politicians do, just spend more!
But God is the only “something” that can fill a God-shaped hole in your life. You say you have tried Him? If you really had, He would never leave you, but far too many people have had an emotional experience and felt that to be a spiritual rebirth, leaving the hole only partially filled with nice memories and fading emotions, until you are back where you were in the beginning.
You cannot try God for the weekend. He only accepts unconditional surrender.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.