November 9, 2017
Growing up I had a plan for how I could make my life “good.”
Get a good education. A good job. A good family. A good house. A good flowerbed out front. And a good minivan parked in the driveway.
Then life would be … good.
Eventually, I had all that “good” stuff. I was thankful for it all. I loved my family to pieces. The minivan wasn’t all I thought it would be, but I felt like an official mom driving it. So even that wound up being good.
But something inside me still felt hollow. A little off. A little lacking.
So, I reasoned I needed something else to do. A place where I could use my gifts and talents. And while these things were fun and satisfying on one level, they too fell short when it came to that deep place ringing with the echoes of empty.
Empty is a heavy load to bear. The mystery of wanting to be filled but not knowing how or what could fill the deep longing of our soul is a gnawing ache. A search that can seem both futile and shattering at times.
When you try and try, always feeling like the answer is just around the corner, and then it isn’t, it can split your heart wide open and leak dry all your reserves.
It can make you feel unsatisfied and frustrated with everything. Even those you love. Maybe especially those you love.
So you fake a smile and keep putting one foot in front of the other. But eventually you stop peeking around the next corner hoping the answer is there. History tells you it isn’t. And wrapped in that perception is the noose that strangles out all hope.
Sadly, this is where many women live.
I know this place because I’ve lived there. And struggled there.
And I guess I’m wondering if you or someone you love might be there this upcoming holiday season. It’s tough when everything around you screams to be “merry” and “happy” … when you feel anything but.
Quite honestly, it stinks.
So, I’m not going to pretend you’ll suddenly feel super merry or happy after reading this.
But what I can promise is a string of words that explains a lot. An answer that is sure and solid and true and full of the breathless wonder of a hope rediscovered.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
No “good plan” is the answer.
No education or job or house can save you.
Salvation can’t be found in anyone or anything else.
There is no other.
And I’m not just talking about saying we’re Christians. Following the rules and following Jesus are two totally different things.
Going through the motions of religion won’t ever satisfy. It’s only when we bend down low, open our hearts in complete surrender and say, “Jesus, it’s You. Only You. There is no other. There is no other possession or person or position that can ever fill the deep soul-place shaped only for You.”
This is my prayer. Though I’ve been saved for a long time, I want to recapture the essence of this “no other” reality.
And really live like this is true.
Because it is. True.
Dear Jesus, only You can save and fill and give what my soul desires. Please remind me to draw close to You and rely on the promise that You will draw close to me when I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (NIV)
Do you long for your children to know that salvation and satisfaction come from Christ alone? With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to teach your children how to tell the story of Jesus’ birth in a brand-new way — by making Christmas cookies! The Sweetest Story Ever Told Interactive Kit comes with the story of Jesus as well as recipe cards and cookie cutters. Click here to learn more and purchase your set today!
When nothing seems to be within your control, when you're weak with worry and driving yourself crazy trying to fix everything — meet with Jesus in the Gospel of Mark during the next First 5 study. You can download the First 5 app for free and pre-order your Experience Guide to dive even deeper into the study with daily questions, maps and illustrations. The study starts Nov. 27!
Start your day with encouragement from Lysa TerKeurst and the First 5 writing team with our free First 5 app.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is there anyone or anything you catch yourself turning to more than Jesus when your heart is hurting and you are longing for someone or something to fill you? How can you allow Jesus to be the One who meets your needs this week?