Opinion: Feeling empty? Consider Paul
Over the years I have often noticed that people who think a marriage will complete them are the ones who aren’t married. Likewise, the ones who think money will complete them are the people who want more money. Even people who feel like having kids will make their life complete are often the ones who don’t have them. I think some people really believe that a million dollar bank account will wash away all their discontent or that the moment they say their wedding vows all loneliness will melt away.
Don’t hear me wrong. A little money can be nice and marriage can be very rewarding.
That said, we are surrounded by celebrities who have a lot of money, their pick of people who would love to be with them, and still they have very broken, discontent lives. As a pastor, I interact with married people, wealthy people, popular people, CEO’s, lawyers and doctors. None of them have ever told me any of these things fully completed them. Here is a little secret–none of these things will complete you, and if you walk into a marriage, job, or even parenting expecting it will make you whole, you put a personal emotional burden on that thing or person that they (or it) can’t bear. You will be let down. People who come into my office exploring faith usually fall into one of two categories: those that have a terrible life and are searching for hope, and those that have everything but are still empty. You read that right. Brilliant lawyers, doctors, and even professors who still feel a deep void.
The Apostle Paul makes a bold statement at the end of his letter in the Bible called Philippians. He says that there is a peace that surpasses all understanding. He even tells us how to get it. It’s basically this – trust Jesus.
How is this possible? If you really believe that Jesus is the ultimate satisfaction and heaven is where we become truly whole, the fear of missing out on things like a perfect job opportunity, marriage, or even kids begins to lose its power.
Paul says only Jesus, the hope of eternity, can carry the weight of your satisfaction. When you realize nothing else will ever satisfy it’s either the beginning of something deeply wonderful or terrifying. If you are at the end of yourself, I challenge you to explore a metaphysical answer. Maybe Paul is right.