A lot of people have lives like an old tree. From all appearances, they look full of life and vigor, but on the inside they have an empty hollow. Life can weather your faith.
I remember reading about the incredible yew tree at Crowhurst, England, which is more than 4000 years old! That means when Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago, the Crowhurst yew had already stood for two thousand years—dating to the time of Abraham! From its lush exterior you’d never guess the tree had a center lifeless and hollow.
For many, like this tree, the longer they live, the bigger the hole gets on the inside.
Only God can make the changes needed to fill that emptiness.
How Your Empty Hollow Grows
As Christians, it’s often surprising to wake up and find our lives feeling empty. After all:
- We have given our lives to Jesus Christ, but our pain has only increased.
- We stay busy serving God, but honestly, it isn’t fulfilling.
- We keep our noses clean, but morality alone doesn’t fill our emptiness.
After a while, desperation and disillusionment set in. We’re doing our best, but we still feel empty.
And too often, sadly, we feel isn’t safe to say so.
Seeing What’s Missing
Filling the emptiness in our lives begins by recognizing it. That’s what Josiah did.
When Josiah saw that his people lay in the ashes of unfaithfulness, he made several deliberate decisions:
In the eighth year of his reign while he was still a youth, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, the carved images, and the molten images. . . . When he had purged the land and the house, he sent… to repair the house of the LORD his God. (2 Chronicles 34:3, 8)
I see in Josiah’s actions several steps that help fill the emptiness even believers can feel.
Filling in Your Empty Hollow
Often, neglect manages to creep in. Josiah shows the remedy:
1. Josiah began by seeking God. Life is about our relationship with the Lord, not simply activity for Him.
2. Josiah removed what threatened his relationship with God. For Josiah, that meant cleaning out the idols. For us, it may mean cancelling cable TV or even changing jobs. Easy? Never. But always worth it.
3. Josiah restored what supported his relationship with God. That began with repairing the temple. For us, it may mean something as simple as having a quiet time first thing each day—before anything else. It may also mean getting some good Bible study tools.
In the end, it isn’t about how we feel. But often our pain is an indication something needs to change.
It is of no advantage to be near the light if the eyes are closed. —Augustine
If your life looks great on the outside, but on the inside you feel empty, it’s time to review and renew your purpose for living.
It’s all about knowing and loving the Lord first.
Tell me what you think: What have you removed (or repaired) in your relationship with God that has helped you? To leave a comment, just click here.