God Shaped Hole

Do you consider yourself to be a happy person?  I’m not talking about just being in a good mood more often than not, or being optimistic. I’m also not talking about trying to act happy by putting on a happy face so others can’t see how much you are really hurting inside. There is a superficial happiness that usually comes to my mind when someone asks me how I’ve been or some other question that doesn’t seem to be seeking a truly honest answer. I think it’s just human nature to answer these questions superficially. Most of us are either too busy to really think about if we are truly happy, or we choose not to think about it. It is just easier to say “pretty good” when asked how we are doing.

So back to the question. Do you consider yourself to be happy? Maybe a better way to ask it is are you content with your life? I can tell you right now that while I am mostly content with my life, I am not always happy. There seems to be something missing, something I am longing for or that I desire. And don’t get me wrong, I have a great life. I am truly blessed.  But I do understand that this longing is caused by my broken relationship with God. Each one of us is born with a God shaped hole that we are trying to fill with whatever we think will make us more complete. It may be a relationship, money, or sex. It could be food, or exercising, or pornography. We may even be trying to fill this whole with Church, or reading the Bible. The fact of the matter is, we will find ultimate fulfillment in none of these things.

Donald Miller is probably my favorite writer. In his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (great book), he discusses whether Jesus will fulfill us here on earth. Don suggests the we won’t find ultimate fulfillment until we are reunited with Jesus in heaven. In reference to happiness, he says “..the Bible does not set false expectations for us. The lives of the Apostles testify to this. So ours is a life filled with hope of what will come. We are like that bride, excited about her coming wedding, still thick with the frustrations that come with betrothal.” I love this bride analogy. It defines how being a Christian feels to me. Hope is the key word. I have hope that someday I will be reunited with God in heaven, just as a bride hopes her wedding day goes according to plan. In my hope comes joy, joy from believing that God loves me. Of course at times I have my doubts, just as I’m sure many brides have their doubts as well. Becoming a Christian doesn’t bring total fulfillment, just as getting engaged doesn’t bring sustained happiness. The real action takes place the day(maybe I should say night) of the wedding, both for the church and for the earthly marriage.

Another thing that I find alluring about this wedding analogy is that marriage is actually a gift from God that does bring us some sort of earthy fulfillment. Even though we cannot be ultimately fulfilled here on earth, there are most certainly some things that can help us to feel more complete. I already listed marriage as one of these. Can you think of any others? I’m going to take some time and try to create a list of other things that God has offered to as as means of earthly happiness. Hopefully, I can come up with some good thoughts and am able to post something soon. Until then, feel free to comment and let me know what you’ve come up with or just about anything else. Thanks for your time.


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3 Responses to God Shaped Hole

  1. Dianne says:

    I am more complete when I am in communication with the Holy Spirit and when I allow myself to be used as His instrument to care for and encourage those people He brings across my path for a moment, a season or lifetime.

  2. paul says:

    i like how you bring up the point about the apostles lives and happiness, does the Bible ever mention living happily ever after here on earth?…maybe there is a reason that phrase is reserved for fairy tales.
    but anyway what i want to say is that i appreciated this post, because i often find myself feeling the same way, experiencing the same frustrations of a broken relationship with God.

    although its never perfect it’s no secret that i’ve felt more complete when i’m running my best…something about training hard and the act of racing to my fullest potential fills my heart with God…its not even about winning…there are just times when i can tell I’m in communion with Him out there… it is a truly special experience that i’m very thankful for.

  3. anonymous says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I know for me I am either content with where I am (which is also not good) or I am trying to fill my God shaped hole with things that are fleeting at best when it comes to long term happiness. Sure, these things make you feel better for the night, a week, or maybe even a month but mean little in a scope of a lifetime. But something that gets confused is the instant gratification that “makes you feel better” and actual happiness. Many things in this life can make you feel better but there are only a few things, if not one thing that can truly make you happy: love. While I not sure if I agree with the idea that we cannot achieve ultimate fulfillment until we are reunited with Christ I do understand where you and Donald Miller are coming from. I think that ultimate happiness is what we will achieve when we are united with Jesus. We will no longer have hate,lust, and all the other things that seperate us from and limit our love for Christ. Once we are with him these things will cease to be boundaries in our relationship with him and we will be able to love him without boundaries and limitations.

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