I have often heard everyone is in search of something to fill a space only God can fill. Some refer to this empty place as a God-shaped hole. To not have this hole filled leads to darkness, depression, defeatedness, and downfall. Life without God is like a driver of a wheeless car in the pit at the Indianapolis 500 hoping to win the race. No matter how beautiful the paint job, no matter the cost, no matter how powerful an engine - without wheels, the car will never fulfill its' purpose.
I once had an overwhelming emptiness like that in my own life. I was in constant search of something to bring happiness. When I observed others running their race with fulfilling careers, functional families, adequate finances, and seemingly freedom from all upheaval in their lives, I felt I had been shortchanged somewhere along the way. I thought there was nothing I could do to escape the pit that I not only found myself in, but assumed I deserved to be in because of something I had done wrong at some point in time.
Thankfully, I finally reached a place in 2000 where I found God. My God-shaped hole was filled and I became whole. I was completely open and wiling for Him to continually fill me and use me. I grew in my faith daily as I served Him with all that I had. After I found Him, it was as if I was trying to make up for so much lost time; all those years I imagined God thought I had wasted. It was as if I had finally found what I had been placed on this earth for. I was no longer in search of, but knew God was in control. I thought I would never ever search again. I was complete.
Looking back now, I believe my overwhelming gratitude and appreciation for this radical life change somehow became misplaced. Through the years I grew to appreciate the physical place where the God-orchestrated change occurred more than God Himself. All my gratitude should have been directed to Him alone.
Two years ago things changed dramatically in my life. I began to question were things I thought to be good and true in the physical place where I found God really ever good and true? I had heard continually to place my hope in God, not man. I truly believe I did that for quite some time, but somewhere in my journey of faith and service, I began to lean toward the pursuit of pleasing people, more than pleasing God. Amidst all the work, I lost the fire, the desire, the overflowing feeling of joy I once had from simply "getting to" do my job I was blessed with. Even though I did not realize it at the time, at some point I began to think of man, not of God as blessing me with the ministry job I loved so that drained me, yet energized me. It as at that point that God in all His wisdom and perfect timing allowed events to take place causing me to know I was released from the place where I had first fully found and pursued Him with all that I had.
Now that two years have passed, I find myself once again in pursuit of fulfillment and wholeness. I know so well the verse...do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together...I also know this one Titus 3:5 - Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and RENEWING of the Holy Ghost: I know so many believe once saved, always saved, but to me salvation is not meant to be left sitting on a shelf and do absolutely nothing with. To be saved and simply sit back and wait to go to Heaven one day seems like such a waste of a precious gift we have been given by Christ. I need to be in a place where God can renew His Spirit within me. I long to find that place once again. If I am simply going to a church service to say I have been to church because I feel I am supposed to go somewhere, is that more wrong than right? I have searched for that answer for two years.
So many churches of so many wonderful people have been so welcoming. I have pushed myself to go. I have pushed myself to fit in, to belong. I recently joined a Body of Believers for I felt God calling me to do so. BUT I still find myself in search of something that I do not have. I feel like that car in the pit at the race revving my engine, wanting so badly to take off down the track, but ALAS I have no wheels!
Where do I go from here? What am I doing to renew the Holy Ghost infilling my life now? Where do I go to find that renewal? Where is my quiet place for prayer and meditation to meet face to face with God? How do you go from being a doorkeeper at the House of God to feeling you would gladly crawl in a muddy ditch somewhere if you could truly meet with Him once again? How can I assemble with others, when all those who once met together with me as family are now scattered in so many places in search of "their place" - the place where they can have their God-shaped holes filled by God Himself? Many have found that place they say. As of yet, I have not. I miss that place.
Is the secret to filling the God-shaped holes in our lives realizing that it is not filled so much in a physical, but a spiritual place deep within our hearts? Yes. But, it certainly does help to have a home, a holy physical place we can go to, to find that spiritual place.
When you find God, (the only thing that can fill that God-shaped hole) make sure you worship Him alone, not the physical place where you found Him, not the people who helped you find Him, or those who helped you to grow in Him. Do not worship a church, an organization, a denomination, your minister, your ministry....for GOD IS GOD ALONE.
I am going to sit quietly worshiping Him in the place where I am. Who knows this may be the place where God chooses to fill me and use me once again in an amazing way. Then again, it may be when I am pushing a shopping cart at Wal-Mart. Just as God is no respecter of persons, He is no respecter of places. He is in operation absolutely EVERYWHERE. He inhabits the praises of His people. So, I will praise Him in the dry desert place just as I praised Him in the lush green valley.
Lord, help us to forgive those we trusted who have hurt us and have (perhaps unintentionally) taken from us the great blessing of having a place, a home where we felt so safe with YOU. I pray for all those who are hurt, broken, scattered, and searching. Teach us never to place our hope in man. Show us the place we need to be in You where You will fill us with your Spirit completely. Lead us and guide us to the physical places where we belong to meet and worship. Until we find that place show us how to sit patiently - quietly and worship wherever we may be. By doing so that very place may become THE place we are in search of.
*This is not intended to offend anyone from the past, or anyone who has been a part of my current search. These words are my TRUTH that I need to speak. After all, the Truth does set us free. Writing these words honestly brings healing to my soul and hopefully will help others who find themselves in the place where I am - in search of.