Desperate to Fill the Emptiness

Why are we so terrified of feeling empty that we overstuff and overfill ourselves until that feeling becomes normalized. This feeling of discontentment, of not having enough… a feeling of tightness of chest and difficulty in breathing because your stomach is so expanded.

So, in order to avoid the feeling of emptiness that continues to haunt us like the specter of a life lived to the fullest, we cram delicious foods into every crevice of our stomachs. We wash it down with classy sips of red wine which serve to ice the cake that also slips down our throats into the slimy chamber of dissatisfaction, a grotto inside of our souls. When I returned from Guatemala I was overcome by the fact that I never went to bed hungry in the United States. So often I think that people don’t know what it feels like to be empty because we continue to shovel in more and more so that we remain in denial that we are indeed empty inside.

What are we filling ourselves with? Are they things that satisfy or things that leave us perpetually empty moments after the fleeting feelings of being full have fled?

For, “everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).

“Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Then the Lord describes how it will be to live in the Promised Land for the Israelites, “And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you” (Deut. 8:10).

So why do we diet? Well first, let’s uncover why we need to. The root issue is overeating – not even that, but the root issue is a fear of not having enough, a fear of emptiness because we are so scared of facing the reality that we are indeed empty without something or someone who can eternally satisfy and create wholeness within us.

We have a seeming innate compulsion to fill the emptiness with something, anything. Our bodies are hardwired to tell us that we need something more if we are hungry, something outside of ourselves. We need something to come and fill us or we will perish. This is fundamental to life.

Let these moments point us to our need to be filled truly and wholly. The good news is that the whole fullness of God dwells within Jesus bodily and we have been filled in him (Colossians 2:9-10). All the fullness of God dwells in Christ and because of Christ dying, raising to life, and living again (thereby defeating death)… We, by accepting this and laying our lives and our wills down at His feet, we have the Holy Spirit, and the fullness of God residing within us.

When we are living our lives out of the fullness of the Holy Spirit within us, we will never feel the need to satisfy the longing within us, the gaping hole of emptiness because it is eternally filled with the measure of all the fullness of God.

Philippians 3:19 – “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds on earthly things.”

You can be filled and satisfied for eternity. You musn’t look for fulfillment and satisfaction in food, fame, or fortune. The fullness of God, made manifest in Jesus Christ, is available to you.

Let us remember also that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

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2 thoughts on “Desperate to Fill the Emptiness

  1. Jena, thank you so much for writing this article. I believe it is so important for Christians to read and to take it to heart. I can speak from a perspective of experience in the area of overeating. 16 years ago, I stepped into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous to recover from a lifetime of social over-drinking, only to surrender one addiction for another, food. By the grace of God, he removed the desire to drink after just 90 days into the program, but I, like a lot of alcoholics, turned to food and sugar to comfort myself. For many years, I did the whole thing of binging, dieting, acting like it didn’t bother me (the extra weight) and so on. Yet, when I was ready to truly give it up, the Lord through his precious Holy Spirit, put me on a food program that I could live with and that would nourish my body and still give me that one “cheat meal” per week, so I didn’t feel so deprived. I lost a total of 70 pounds and I give all the glory to God. But more than that, I realize that my overeating was me trying to run my own life. It was only when I TRULY surrendered it to God, that I was able to depend on him in faith for my food. I still struggle and sometimes want to overeat, but through discipline and much prayer and dependence on Him, I can manage to live a life of health. It reminds me daily of my utter dependence for everything on him. He has also healed me of bipolar disorder, but sometimes even on a daily basis, I can feel those old demons of depression coming upon me, that is when I can scream, cry and then sink into my Daddy and ask him to come to my rescue, which He does every single time. Yes, through overeating, I believe we are trying to fill a void in our life, trying to control or run our own life; self-will run rampant. I pray that believers and non-believers alike will truly see overeating as a sickness and a desire to try to be self-sufficient, when we were never meant to live apart from the power of Christ. He is LIFE! Dee Kohlhoff–your sister in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dee – Wow. What an incredible story you’ve just shared. I am honored and humbled to read it and through your faithful vulnerability I am confident that others are able to relate to any number of circumstances you have been through. Thank you for sharing. You are absolutely right. We are not meant to live apart from the eternally satisfying and fulfilling relationship with our Creator, our God, made accessible through Jesus Christ. I am so glad this has encouraged your soul and I pray others, myself included, will pause and seek to understand where the desire to overeat and to fill our emptiness comes from. I pray that we all will choose the One who satisfies and who produces in us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

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