Recently, I was talking with one of my dearest relatives, whom I love and cherish, who told me she feels as if she has a hole in her heart. She has told me many times that she believes in God, and we have had numerous conversations about faith. But something, she said, is missing in her life. She is a good and caring person, a faithful and trustworthy employee (even at some jobs that she disliked intensely), and she is happily married to a man I also love and cherish. What could I say to her that I have not already said? Have my fervent prayers for her gone unheard? How could I explain to her that even the most devout Christian feels that emptiness sometimes? But knowing Who can fill the void is the answer to the longing.
Seventeenth century French mathematician Blaise Pascal is credited with the following quote: “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” We live in a world beleaguered by infinite choices of things to believe—or believe in. From ancient religions to misguided firebrands, people today can find something or someone to follow. This is not a new phenomenon. Even the psalmist of old states Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7). The emptiness my dear family member feels could be due to many things: stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, overwork. If any of us say we never have any of these concerns, we are probably not being honest with ourselves. But no matter how much life befuddles us from time to time, we who believe in the Living God cannot forget that He is in control, no matter what.
My heart aches for those who seem eluded by peace of mind. I once heard it said that if you pray, why worry, and if you worry, why pray? I believe this statement is one to keep in the forefront of our minds on the days when our loving God seems distant. And on the days when we feel we have never been more certain of our faith, let’s remember Who is giving us that assurance.
Make Yourself known to us, Lord of all comfort. Be our sanctuary when we feel alone. Amen