Filling the Void Within

Rick Warren said, “Your sins don’t define you. What you worship does.”

I’ve been chewing on this for about a month.

Because I’m into clutching the hem of Grace’s robe, I think I finally understand why this was such a hard thing for me to read and accept.

Grace finds you out. It looks you dead in the eye with unwavering compassion and almost dares you to look away. That’s one of the things that I most admire about Him.

Saying that my sins don’t define me almost feels as if I’m shirking away from Grace and saying, “I don’t need  you!”

But, of course, that wasn’t Mr. Warren’s point, was it? He wanted us to zero in on what, exactly, we worship, and maybe, who.

Perhaps that is what really rubbed me wrong.

The dark truth in this heart of mine is that I don’t want to have to acknowledge the times I chose Other over Him.

The times I still choose Other to fill my void.

My heart has only begun to grasp the truth of what C.S. Lewis meant when he wrote that, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” That yearning that we feel was put within us by the Creator of every living thing.

Craving something that defies explanation isn’t new to the human condition. We’ve been warned against trusting the ‘sweetest frame’ for a sweet forever. Chasing the satisfaction I think those frames and things and people will provide never ends well for me. I’m only left with a more intense hungering.

And, oh, how I want my God to be the one I seek to fill the emptiness! Because, the longer I walk this earth, the more obvious it is that I will, indeed, worship whatever it is that is filling me. My depraved humanity sometimes denies my very Creator entrance into my heart. I begin to see all of the Other Things, and people, that I have allowed to fill in the void as more worthy of my worship than the one who fashioned me as He did.

Most of those on the outside, looking in, wouldn’t necessarily see my sin, and therefore define me by it. Sometimes they might, of course. But, what those watching will always see, is whatever or whoever it is that I’m worshiping.

Allowing God to pour into the empty pockets in my heart provides me with the opportunity to renew my love for Him. My desire to worship Him and Him alone!

It reminds me of my profound need for the Solid Rock on which I stand. Because, truly, all other ground surely is sinking sand.

When does Grace enter in? I can’t answer that for anyone other than myself. But, He most assuredly does come, filling the void within in ways that are often unexpected: a comforting word accomplishing what was sought through physical touch, the desire for meaningful connection achieved with a brief encounter, or the sudden longing for old friends being met in the introduction of new ones.

Each one provides for a deep soul-hungry need.

And, as I am filled, I am defined.


This post is day 29 of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click my 31 Days of Grace button above to see the other posts I’ve written.