Most of us live like we have no other choice other than to do our dutiful best to attempt to cover up the emptiness of existence that many of us deal with each and every day! We strive tirelessly towards the illusion of thinking that we can actually arrive to a point where complete satisfaction is genuinely obtained. We are tempted to try to buy into the charade that happiness here can last and linger but we all know that this side of heaven-even the best of times come to a close and we awaken to find ourselves a pumpkin all over again.
I think a limited party is all that this earth at its best can offer us and while it may have its upbeat moments- its fleeting nature leaves us yearning for so much more. That desire was actually designed and placed inside our souls by the God who made us but rather than try to fill that vacuum with pseudo substitute adventures and possessions- only a lasting relationship with our Lord will ever really fill the bill and do the trick! We can’t fix a vertical problem with a horizontal solution!
Left up to our own ingenuity, we compile a tower of coping mechanisms that we look to medicate the pain left by unsuccessful attempts to slay our dragons of despair. I have even experienced a scary inner desperateness although also a helplessness to make the hurt go away and leave me safe and sound in a home where horrors are no longer welcome! Nothing really got better until I gave up trying to hide the chaos and decided to invite God right into my personal nightmare! And with the entrance of God’s presence- I finally felt hope return for the first time in what seemed like ages.
Human beings will do anything they can to escape the pit of futility. They go the route of stockpiling their experiences with lots of noise and distractions in order to numb the loneliness and the crying ache in their inner souls! They settle for shallow acquaintances rather than have the guts to dive deep and allow somebody else the same courtesy to get to the nitty gritty of the heart! We run away from getting serious with the nagging questions by just staying busy! But we are still bombarded with deeper thoughts such as, why am I here? Does anything I do really matter? Is there a God? What is he doing? Why do good guys finish last? Life is short. Time flies. The years go faster and faster. What’s it all for?
I have discovered the hard way that one can’t be rescued until they admit they need help! I found my higher road when I finally willingly entered my dignity of deep despair and allowed God to speak the truth to the mountain of lies that I had allowed to dominate my terrain. Despair does not have to be our final destination- but I believe we must taste of it if we are ever to recognize what healing and hope is actually made of. Because until the wisdom that comes easily now fails to stir you with hope then; Until available pleasures no longer satisfy or even bring more than a temporary relief to your empty soul; Until whatever wealth you have accumulated, whatever possessions define your life, whatever achievements decorate your resume; Until all of it leaves you with the realization that more will not fill the emptiness in your heart; Until time with friends doesn’t energize you as it once did; Until you have nowhere to turn for the satisfaction of your soul’s desire, not to the Bible, not to prayer, not to music, not to friends, not to church; Until all of this happens, you will never be free enough to know where life really is and where it is not.
You will waste countless hours and even days looking in the wrong wells to quench your deepest thirst. You will not hear God’s song of love as clearly and beautifully as angels have learned to sing it. You will not know that every moment of your crazy life is still a perfectly tuned note in the eternal harmony of the masterpiece that God has orchestrated. And God doesn’t want you to stay in the dark about what He is doing with you in the light.
We can all try to settle for the shallow happiness and limited excitement that this earth at its best attempts to offer us- or we can invite God fully into our despair and muck and meet our emptiness head on! You can't really be rescued until you finally admit that you are drowning! I was almost suffocated by my senseless striving but when I surrendered my futile efforts to His almighty Hands- I finally got a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not an oncoming train- but the beacon beckoning me to the home I have always longed for! And until I get home-you will find me clinging to Jesus! I am not as strong as I used to pretend to be! I know my weakness and I know that God shows up in my inability to prove that He is able!
So Lord, help me to make space, find the silence and dare to dive right into the deep end of your grace! Help me to recognize your voice there and to tune into your station with the courage to stay there. Empty me of my mess so that you can fill me with what will prove to a lasting joy. Let me desire to love others the way you love me in this brief, but beautiful, journey on earth. And when it is time for you to call me home- may you not have to cry out twice! I’ll be there the second that you open that door. I love you Lord.
Let Pastor Rudy know what you think by emailing him pastorrudytlc@comcast