I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. Psalms 119:10
For a week I searched for my toothpaste. When my husband, Steve, was in the hospital, I packed a small bag with make-up, toothbrushes, and other toiletries for the two of us. Somehow the toothpaste disappeared. I searched the hospital room, the car, and home. I searched again and again. It was just toothpaste, but I became consumed with trying to find it. It is both silly and sad that I spent so much time and energy searching for a two dollar tube of toothpaste that had, by the way, already been replaced. But what is even sadder than my frantic search is the amount of time people, often Christians as well as non-Christians, spend searching for God.
It’s understandable that non-Christians are searching, but why do we as Christians find ourselves searching for God? When we stray away from God’s will and don’t follow His commands, we step farther and farther away until it becomes difficult or even impossible to see Him. Like non-Christians, we begin searching not even knowing what it is we are looking for anymore. We become consumed with finding what is missing in our life. Imagine trying to force into a puzzle a piece that does not fit. We try to CRAM worldly things into a God-shaped hole expecting to find happiness that only God can provide.
C-Careers: Because we spend the biggest part of our waking hours at work, we often assume our unhappiness is due to dissatisfaction in our job. We may be content for a while but eventually find ourselves searching for the perfect career once again.
R-Relationships: Approximately fifty percent of first marriages in America end in divorce, and that likelihood increases with each subsequent marriage. These statistics don’t even include those who enter informal trial marriages which typically do not last. When things become difficult at home, many begin searching for happiness in new relationships which have even greater risk of failure.
A-Alcohol/Drugs: Alcohol and drugs are often tools for burying the unhappiness in our lives rather than a place that people search for happiness. Instead the search is often for an escape from the struggles of life.
M-Money: We think if we just had more money then we could be happy. So we find ourselves working more to have more which leaves less time for family, and ultimately we are still unhappy. Often the desire for more money leads us into gambling which causes us to spend more, hoping to hit it big while falling into unmanageable debt and more stress. The search for more money will always leave us wanting more.
Just as I replaced my toothpaste, we often try to replace our relationship with God for things the world says will bring pleasure. Those things may bring happiness for a time, but eventually we find ourselves feeling dissatisfied and searching again. No matter where we look, we will continue searching for the missing piece.
What are you trying to CRAM into the God-shaped hole in your life?
I did finally find the missing toothpaste. It wasn’t hidden at all. I just couldn’t see it because I was looking in all the wrong places. You may not be able to see God working in your life because you too are searching in all the wrong places, but Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We must take our eyes off of the things we try to CRAM into that God-shaped hole and focus our search on God. Then we will truly find peace and happiness.