(Way to start off with a downer Holly!)
You know the feeling right? The feeling that something is missing. It's not exactly sadness, although it can turn into that. It's that uncomfortable, unsettled, undesirable feeling that pops up when you sit still for too long. Your mind starts racing to figure out where the feeling is coming from and how to make it go away. "I just need some chocolate to perk up my day!" "If I were just skinnier I would be content." "If only I had a bigger/nicer house." "If I only had a spouse or children." "Buying a new car will fill the hole." "I just need to go shopping!"
So we give into one or all of what we believe is the reason for our discontent and get relief....for a little while. But then that sinking feeling returns and we're back on the hamster wheel, ultimately never getting anywhere.
The world around us would have us believe that we simply need to keep striving, keep consuming, keep working, and ultimately we will reach fulfillment. What NONSENSE! Look at Hollywood! Some of the wealthiest, most attractive, most "successful' people are living in addiction, relational dysfunction, and committing suicide. Clearly something ain't workin!
The reality is, WE WERE MADE FOR MORE THAN THIS. Emptiness was never part of the plan. We were made to walk in the garden with our Heavenly Father completely fulfilled. The bad news: We live in a fallen world where sin and evil are real. (Romans 5:12)
The good news: God is on the move restoring us to Him every day. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
So what do we do in the meantime when feelings of emptiness threaten to consume us?
For me, there are 3 things I evaluate when that feeling of emptiness springs up.
1) How is my relationship with God? Am I seeking Him out? Am I sitting in the quiet asking Him to be with me? Am I reading His Word to know Him more?
2) Am I doing what He is asking me to do? Am I serving others? Am I a blessing to those around me? Are my eyes open to those in need? Am I living with a purpose and on mission?
3) How is my relationship with others? Am I engaged in meaningful relationships with other people? Am I taking the time to relate to my husband and children? Am I making people a priority?
Chances are really good that if I'm feeling discontent and empty, I can't answer yes to all of those questions.
I could go indulge in chocolate, shopping, and house hunting and be left wanting more....OR I can seek out the only One that can fulfill my deepest longings and get off the hamster wheel. I'm just sayin...