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by Mike Cope
The core battle in everyones life is to relate well to God, to worship him, enjoy him, experience his presence, hear his voice, trust him in everything, always call him good, obey every command (even the hard ones), and hope in him when he seems to disappear. Larry Crabb
The paradox of our time in history is that we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; more medicine, but less wellness.
We read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
Weve learned how to make a living, but not a life; weve added years to life, not life to years; weve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
While we may have learned a lot more about digital information, have we improved our ability to love, forgive, and nurture? While we are gaining understanding about our world, have we grown in our knowledge of the Creator of the world?
Yet in a deeper sense, these arent so much the problems as they are some symptoms of a larger problem. Maggie Ross has pinpointed the deeper issue:
We try to fill up that ghastly hole in the pit of our stomachs that is really in our souls. We try to fill it with food, with power, with sex... We begin to realize that this hunger will never be satisfied, not in this life. It is the hunger for the Face of God, and the only possible food is prayer. [Maggie Ross, The First of Your Life: A Solitude Shared (San Francisco: Harper, SanFrancisco, 1992), 120.]
Heres the stark truth: only God can fill our deepest hunger. Getting married cant. Developing friendships cant. Saying funny things at parties cant. Unraveling your past with a therapist cant. Adding 20% to your income cant. Winning the lotto cant.
As Larry Crabb has discovered: Brokenness is realizing He is all we have. Hope is realizing He is all we need. Joy is realizing He is all we want.[Larry Crabb, The Safest Place on Earth (Nashville: Word, 1999), 39.]
In Scripture there is a word to describe any attempt to find true life in anyone or anything other than God: idolatry. In that sense an idol could be a stone figure or a spouse, a graven image or a growing retirement fund.
But we can resist the idols. We can find our hunger satiated in God. To help us do just that, well examine our hunger and look at others who found their hunger filled by God.
Author: Mike Cope
Publication Date: March 23, 2001
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