Filling the Holes in our Hearts
Some time back I searched through a number of Christian blogs. I was looking for a tiny bit of encouragement, a message of hope, or an uplifting post. What I found was eleventy thousand posts all dealing with the negative and the hardships and the trouble with life.
[Yes it’s a real number, and it’s mine.]
When we have holes in our spiritual life, they are not necessarily filled by focusing on the bad, by reworking and reliving and re-discussing the negative situations we encounter daily. We can’t fill those holes by dwelling on them.
Just like a hole in the side of a boat, the holes in our spiritual cloth must not be left open; if they are, the good that is inside will leak out and the dirty water that is outside will leak in. Instead, they need to be plugged with a different substance. Sometimes they are filled by hearing a positive message. Often they are filled by other people.
Those holes in our spiritual life represent our neediness. We need/want to be accepted. We want to feel loved. We want to believe we are worthy. We want to know for sure that we are forgiven.
I remember a friend observing someone….she said, “He has a hole in his heart that needs to be filled with the love of God.”
She was right.
Often we go to others to get these needs filled, and something different happens. We think we will get help. We think that our community holds the answers, they are more mature, or they have a higher position, or they’re older so they know better.
Instead of helping us patch the holes they drag us down. And we would have known this would happen, had we read our Bibles:
Isaiah 14:10 They will all respond,
they will say to you,
“You also have become weak, as we are;
you have become like us.”
“But wait!” You cry, “I didn’t want to become like them! I’m not supposed to.”
You would be right. Because you have that hole in the boat, and you decided to repair it using rotten wood and a toy hammer–your friends– instead of the grind and patch process, now you’re part of a different community. In this community, everybody’s boat is on dry land. It’s like a sea of boats except they’re not on the sea; they’re all laying side-by-side in a vast field of brokenness.
“All I wanted was to feel loved,” you say, feeling hopelessly off course and off kilter.
Ah, but it’s the way you went about it that was wrong. It’s the way we all go about it that moves us so far from True North.
C.S. Lewis said, “We do not want to merely “see” beauty–though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
We want to belong.
That’s the crux of the matter.
It is why we reach out, over and over, to the wrong places in the wrong people. It’s why we can’t stop trying, even when we say we are going to. How many times do we say “Never again will I—“
We are compelled to keep reaching.
When your heart is only half full, it is easy to reach in the wrong direction. It is only when we see dirty water leaking into the boat that we realize what we’ve done. It wasn’t helpful, but detrimental. It wasn’t quenching your thirst, instead it left you begging for more. And when left alone, that heart will not fill up by itself. Next time, drink water straight from the source:
John 7:37,38 “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (MSG)
Rivers. Of living water.
Rivers that brim
And spill from your depths, my depths
Imagine the beauty, the fulfilment of brimming with the Holy Spirit until we spill over.
Sounds like there are no more holes, doesn’t it?
Thank you, God!