Garland Of Grace – 11.27.16

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Hole in the Heart; Lessons from an Actor, a Basketball Player, and a Musician

All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing. I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind. – Ecclesiastes 1:8 & 14

Occasionally, we hear about people born with a hole in their heart.  It is a medical condition that can cause complications throughout the person’s life.  Yet spiritually speaking, everyone is born with a hole in their heart. Many people try to fill this hole on their own, but Jesus Christ is the only heart surgeon that can fix their condition.

Everyone is looking for purpose and meaning in life. People try to pack all types of things into the hole within their heart, all in an attempt to find personal peace and fulfillment.  Maybe it is the pursuit of success, money, possessions or popularity. And sometimes when people feel they have reached life’s satisfying summit, they find out that their internal hole has only grown deeper and wider. Such temporal fulfillment can come in many colorful wrappings.  For instance, the athlete might relish in a broken record.  For the sports fan, it might be a team’s winning championship.  For the golfer, it might be the hole-in-one.  For the broker, it might be a good day in stock trading.  For the drug user, it could be the temporal high. Yet when such pinnacles are embraced as life’s meaning, they only lead to a deeper low which makes the hole-shaped void in their heart exposed and unwrapped all the more. People are like hamsters spinning on the wheel of life trying to arrive, yet they never gain any ground.  They are chasing the futile things of life, and are striving after the wind as they take swings at the windmills of life. Like seeking for a hidden treasure beyond their grasp, people dig and dig, only to make more holes in the minefield of their life.

A few years back I heard a sermon by California pastor Greg Laurie.  He preached on the subject of life’s meaning.  He quoted people within the public eye who have expressed a void within their heart.  Allow me to share a few of them with you. Actor Eddie Murphy said, “I feel a void inside. There’s something missing. I don’t think there’s anyone who feels like there isn’t something missing in life. No matter how much you accomplish, how much money you make, how many cars or houses you have, or how many people you make happy, life isn’t perfect for anybody.” This attitude was echoed by retired professional basketball player Dennis Rodman when he said, “It’s all right, I’m still climbing; I want to try everything, do everything. Fulfillment, I still haven’t found fulfillment.”  A similar sentiment was expressed by musician Trent Reznor, lead singer of the heavy metal band Nine Inch Nails when he stated, “I’m aware that I’m fortunate to live in this house and to do what I’ve always wanted to do, and be one of the few who got a record deal. But by the same token, I’m not more happy or content with my life than I was ten years ago. I got everything I wanted in life, except I really don’t have a life now. I don’t have any real friends or relationships that mean anything to me.”  All three of these men have been searching for the purpose of life, and so far have come up empty handed.

Yet there is hope.  For the one who trusts in the Lord, life’s purpose is found.  God is the only one who can fill the heart shaped vacuum within man. King Solomon understood this truth. He tried everything in search for personal contentment and satisfaction. Like playing a game, he spun the wheel of life and took his turn with gold, possessions, women and wine. They were all futile attempts to fill his personal empty hole. But his thirst for contentment was only quenched after seeking God.  Oh that we would ponder these truths today!  I invite you to drink from wine of God’s vineyard and tap into the wellspring of the Lord! You are sure to find genuine satisfaction for your soul (John 4:14).

 – Pastor Eric

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