Posted by: Esther | November 7, 2007

Filling the Void Within

How many of us think that if we just had “that” all of our problems would go away. We will finally be happy and content. If only I had a million dollars… If only I had that car, or that house… If only I had a child…

This was precisely Rachel’s attitude. In Genesis chapter 30:1 Rachel saw that she couldn’t have any children by Jacob. So she becomes jealous of her sister, and turns to Jacob and says, “Give me children or I’ll die!”

On the day of the great feast, Jesus stood and cried out “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water,’ ” John 7:37-38. He was speaking of the Holy Spirit which had not yet come, but this thirst speaks to the hole in our heart that we all seek to fill.

In John chapter 6, Jesus explains to those he had just miraculously fed, that He is the bread of life and all who eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, will never thirst or hunger again. And before that, he tells the woman at the well that the water she draws up and drinks will make her thirsty again, but with the water that He can give, she will never thirst again. In all instances, Jesus speaks of the spiritual (see John 6:63 and 4:23-24). All of this speaks to our desire to fill a hunger and thirst within us. A hole, a void,  put in each of us by the Father so that we will seek Him (see Romans 8:20). Some of us do not understand that this is a spiritual hunger and thirst, so we continue to try to fill it physically with food, money and relationships.

Likewise, Rachel seeks what her sister has, because she sees that this is making her happy. But Leah, Rachel’s sister, got it right at her fourth child. Leah hoped that each child would bring her a closer relationship with Jacob (Genesis 29:31-34), but at the fourth child, she realized that children were not the answer, so she praises God for them instead of seeking more (Gen. 29:35). Contrast this to Rachel’s response to her child and you see the futility in filling this void with anything but God. After the battle of the babies born by Rachel and Leah’s maidservants, God finally opens Rachel’s womb and she conceives a son, whom she named Joseph , saying, “May the Lord give me another Son,” (Gen. 30:23-24). One child didn’t satisfy her, she wanted more. And ironically, the birth of the next one would kill her (see Gen 35:16-18).

So we must analyze our own lives in light of this and discover how we are filling the void within. Some of us fill this void with alcohol, drugs, or money. Some use relationships with spouses, friends, or children. Still some fill this void with ministries, works and programs. We are thirsty and we are hungry. All of this will only satisfy us for a moment and then we will be hungry again. But fill the void with the Holy Spirit (the life giving water) and Jesus (the bread of life) and we will never thirst or hunger again.

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