Yesterday as I was driving the kids home from a grocery-pickup, my eyes scanned the cars around, my thought’s panned mental snapshots of childhood friends, and my heart landed on a feeling of long ago. It landed on the incredible empty feeling that once dominated my existence.
My thoughts had been wandering from how to help my children manage big emotions to the lady in the chair next to me at a soccer practice not able to manager hers. My own big emotions of childhood that had engulfed me then came flooding back.
I remember what it is to be incredibly empty. The feeling is. so. unbearable.
How could I stop that incredible empty feeling?
My incredible empty pressed my chest when I breathed in, kept tears near the surface, and elbowed longing to leap into my throat each day.
Extraditing the Incredible Empty
There’s only one place that kind of empty creeps out of. And it deserves to return there.
No child needs to have its burden strangling joy out of life. No adult needs to struggle under its pressure.
Many struggle to quiet it under the steady stream of scrolling through Facebook, squinting at video games, or sitting though binge after binge of screens. Others seek to silence it though temporary relief- momentary highs through achievement, drugs, parties, gambling, or alcohol.
Those provide only the illusion of freedom from the incredible empty. It’s dark cloud looms sinister, significant, and constant. The moment work is put down, entertainment is silenced, and a sober spirit sits alone with itself, the incredible empty pounces.
This is why so many cannot, will not, be alone in silence with themselves.
The Cloud Lifter
There is One who lifts the cloud. One alone who can give true and lasting fulfillment. He is the One who spoke of the one who brings the empty and who offers the best, most lasting alternative:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.John 10:10
He created us for relationship with Himself (What is the Meaning of Life?). Only in Him can our hearts be free (Life Untasted). Only in glorifying Him can we find true joy (The path to full and lasting pleasure).
The Most Incredible Empty
He is the one who created the most incredible empty situation there has ever been. Without it, the faith of Christians would be void.
He saw that we had not chosen to love Him- to find our highest delight in Him. We chose to reject Him, and in rejecting Him, we rejected our ultimate good.
As Augustine said,
On our own, we could not come to Him for rest.
“No one is righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10
“your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God..” Isaiah 59:2 b
All our good could never make us good enough. We could never meet His standard to be in relationship with Him now and forever.
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
So, He came. He came and lived a perfect life. He came and was the perfect sacrifice for our sin. He paid the penalty of our sin. He paid the penalty of death – the only One who qualified as perfect- the only One who qualified to pay our debt. And through His death, He conquered eternal death and offered us life:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Jesus offers us the free gift of eternal life. He defines that for us in John 17
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
He was buried for 3 days. And then came the most incredible empty.
He had promised it hundreds of years beforehand. He would bear our iniquities and then be raised again to life. Jesus himself promised he would be buried for 3 days and then come to life again.
If the tomb remained full, then we truly have no hope. We are doomed to a looming incredible empty feeling, lurking over our lives.
Yet, He rose as He promised.
The Cloud Lifter appeared to more than 500 people over a period of 40 days before being lifted to the clouds Himself.
And now He reaches His arm down to you and me. He offers life. Life eternal.
He wants to quench your thirsty soul. He longs to lift your incredible empty cloud with the power of His incredible empty tomb.
Won’t you let Him?
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Photo by Christoph Schmid on Unsplash
Photo by Steven Spassov on Unsplash
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