Some of us look to food or substances in an effort to fill a void, numb a pain, or satisfy something deep within ourselves. Perhaps one more drink will relax us, or a certain pill will take the edge off of our anxiety, or another slice of turtle cheesecake will make us feel better. These things may indeed provide temporary relief or satisfaction, but they eventually do us more harm than good. We can only find lasting relaxation, peace, and contentment through an intimate relationship with the Lover of our souls.
If food or substance abuse hasn’t been a temptation for you, perhaps you’ve searched online, in the pages of a romance novel, or in between the sheets for your soul’s satisfaction. Before you turn off the computer, you need just one more ego stroke from the stranger you’ve been interacting with in cyberspace… before you put down the book, you have to read just one more chapter to see if the heroine finally submits to the passions that rage within her for the suave and debonair hero of the story… before you go home, you must have one more dance at the club, just to see where things might lead with this handsome sweet talker. While human relationships (virtual, fantasized, or real) seem to ease our emotional pain and provide some relief from loneliness, no one can ease our pain and loneliness the way God can.
Perhaps you’ve looked to more socially acceptable forms of satisfaction, such as the pursuit of higher education, or corporate ladder climbing, or trying to be a perfect wife and Super Mom. You keep thinking, If I just complete one more degree or certification … If I receive a few more promotions … If I can get a few more kudos out of my husband or kids … then I’ll know that I am really something special. But no matter how hard you look to any of these things for your ultimate satisfaction, they all fall short in the end. Why? Because we simply can’t find our heart’s true delight anywhere else except in the presence of Jesus.
In the words of Women of Faith dramatist Nicole Johnson, “We are like Swiss cheese, and the holes in us are actually supposed to be there. The holes are the things that make us who we are. The holes are the places God has reserved in us for Himself! The longings identify our real hunger. A hunger that drives us to Him to be satisfied.” [i]