Friday, February 4

Patching Holes

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...and that you may have power... to know that this love surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. --Ephesians 3:16a, 19

I used to work at an air quality research lab where we did a lot of experiments using large Teflon bags. We would fill the bags with clean air, then add a few chemicals like the ones that create smog, and watch what would happen. Part of my job was to construct the bags using a heat sealer (sort of like the way that bags of potato chips are sealed). If the temperature wasn't exactly right for the thickness of the edge of the bag, the seal wouldn't be completely effective and the bag would leak and our experiment was compromised.

My least favorite part of my job was when I had to find a tiny hole in a leaky bag. The holes were never obvious. The sealed edges, for all intents and purposes, looked completely fine. There was no quick way to find the hole, and it often took hours to find and patch it. Most frustrating were the times when multiple holes existed and we would waste valuable time experimenting with a bag that was still leaking.

Sometimes, an aspect of our life develops a hole in it. We can't readily identify where the hole is, or even if it is a single hole, but we know it's there. We begin to see our sense of self-worth deflating, albeit slowly, all because of a tiny hole that hasn't been patched. The mere thought of searching for the leak can be exhausting, but it is far better to put the effort into finding it now than risk wasting time in a losing battle against a deflating life.

Without God in our lives, we may be able to keep up the appearance of being whole, but eventually we will begin to deflate. Before long, we will be spiritually empty. We can keep telling ourselves that we will be happy and complete if we could just have a bit more money in the bank account, or if we could just find that special someone, or if we could just climb high enough on the corporate ladder. Those things are all fine, but they don't offer lasting happiness. Eventually we will still deflate to the point of emptiness.

Some people believe that we are all created with a God-shaped hole inside of us and that there is nothing on earth that can fill it up to make us whole. The fullness of the measure of God's love is more than we could ever hope to understand. God offers us so much more than anything the world has to offer. Only by beginning a life with Christ can the hole in our lives be filled. However, that doesn't guarantee that our life may not have holes in other places. A vibrant, growing relationship with God not only makes finding the other holes in life easier to identify, but it can give us the necessary equipment to effectively and permanently repair the hole.

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