“There’s a hole in my soul
I can’t fill it, I can’t fill it
There’s a hole in my soul
Can you fill it? Can you fill it?”
– Bastille, “Flaws”
There’s an itch that I just can’t scratch…It lingers in my mind, it drives me wild in my head, and it stirs my heart like a tornado. It can’t be defined, it can’t be examined in a lab, and it’s nothing that money can buy. It’s a hole. It’s an emptiness. It’s a craving.
When I was young, I was told that Jesus would satisfy all of my cravings if I asked Him into my heart and lived for Him. So, I said all the right things, I prayed all the time, I read the Bible fervently, and I beat myself up over any of my failings…In my mind I was the epic Christian, but I was still craving something deep inside…
Maybe U2 was right when they wrote “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. In fact, I am convinced that they were right. The lyrics to that song weren’t written by an atheist or a skeptic; they were written by a devout follower of Jesus. Even in his faith, he was still searching for…something…
As a follower of Jesus, I’ve been lied to all my life. No, Jesus doesn’t fix everything right away. I’m not 100% complete. There are these longings inside me that aren’t fulfilled yet.
What if we actually read the Scriptures without our desire to feel warm and fuzzy? What would we learn?
We would see a king named Solomon who had the greatest wealth of any king before him, yet he deemed everything as “meaningless…a chasing after the wind”.
We would find another king named David who talked about his longing and panting after God as a stream of water…He wasn’t satisfied…God was his God, but he couldn’t get enough. Yet, this guy was called a “man after God’s own heart”.
We would find a group of Jesus freaks who were willing to be crucified and martyred by the Roman empire because of their insatiable desire to know this man called Jesus.
I like to consider the Christian faith a journey, not a destination. Jesus is asking us to follow Him, not to sit down in a state of bliss. Maybe you don’t agree, but I think there’s something in this life that will never fully be satisfied. We live in a broken world full of heartache, pain, and loneliness. Jesus is making all things new, but we’re not at that stage in the script just yet.
Jesus gives us abundant life, but not the kind we desperately want (if we’re honest). I find that the greatest moments of my life come in the most unexpected places. Talking about Jesus with a bunch of extras on a film set. Having a conversation with a homeless person who needs a listening ear. Looking into the eyes of my wife. Writing words that I hope will encourage someone else.
Fulfillment can never be found in wealth, accomplishments, and fame. It’s just futile. We run around and around in circles, hoping that the next fix will be the last one we need to inject, only to find that we need more the next lap around.
I believe that Jesus does satisfy our souls, but I don’t believe that it’s a one time thing. It’s not a “pray a prayer and you’ll be complete” gig that Jesus invites us to experience. No.
It’s a journey.
It’s a constant thirst.
It’s this constant itch for God that drives me mad, desperate for more of Him.
I haven’t found what I’m looking for just yet, because God is too great for me to grasp.
It’s like trying to contain the ocean in a coffee mug. It’s absurd. There’s so much more of God that my soul needs, that my soul craves.
No matter how many things you accumulate, how many sexual desires you fulfill, how many drugs you get strung out on, or how well-known you become, you will always feel empty. Those pursuits are like drinking soda in the pursuit of hydration: you end up dehydrated and empty. They’re empty. They’re fake. They’re lonely.
Your Sunday school teacher was right: Jesus does make us whole. What they failed to tell you, however, is that you will keep chasing that constant satisfaction your whole life. It’s not immediate. It’s a pursuit, a chase, and a passionate tale of desire.
I truly believe that knowing God is a journey, not a destination.