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Filling the “God-shaped hole”

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Genuine Hope | 0 comments

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Last week I droved through a neighborhood on the west side of Cincinnati where I shot interviews of seven men a few years ago, each a recovering alcoholic, addict or both. The list included a former college student, a military veteran, a dentist and a lawyer of some national notoriety. The lawyer is a man in his early sixties by now.  I listened as he told how he had experienced great success as defined by our society. He was married with two children, achieved success in education, successfully tried cases the courtroom, and was held in high esteem within his social circles, but something was missing.

He described his success as a search for something that was missing and when he wasn’t satisfied, he searched with alcohol and then experimented with other drugs. Over the years, he lost everything. Everything.

Nearly four hundred years ago, this search was described by French mathematician and Christian philosopher, Blaise Pascal: 

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

Blaise Pascal

Pascal described what some have called the “God-shaped hole” or vacuum in the human heart. 

Paul told the men in Athens that “they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). We can’t replace Him with anything else.


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