Christians often speak about the existence of a God-shaped hole in our heart. A place that can only be filled with God Himself. Over the past year I came to understand how this God-shaped hole had given direction to my life and my actions. For all of my life I desired love, wisdom and truth. I also felt this strange longing for being obedient to a teacher. I now can see that the things I desired where actually desires God planted in my heart. However, I understood this desires in a wrong way, which brought suffering instead of fulfillment.
A desire for love
In my article about love I took you already to my painful search for love. I knew it was important to know love. I desired love so much. I wanted to experience all aspects of love. It looked like the whole world revolved around love and that everyone knew how to love. I, however, felt utterly inadequate to love. I tried so many ways to find love but I couldn’t find Love.
A desire for wisdom
As a child I started reading, I actually devoured books. I remember going to the library each week, to look for 3 new books to read. I also loved reading my children’s Bible. I kept reading books on a weekly basis when I was an adult. When I read a book titled ‘In Babylon’ I was struck by the sentence: ‘I read to gain wisdom’. I knew that was true. I read to gain wisdom, about myself, my environment, about others and about life itself. That’s why I read and kept reading, year after year.
After my divorce I moved from reading entertaining literature towards self-help books and spiritual, New Age books. A deeper search for wisdom started, but I never found real, fulfilling wisdom in any of those books.
A desire for truth
In New Age most people tend to believe that there is no truth. Everything is equally true. Everybody has his or her own truth, which is shaped by their world and their beliefs. In New Age philosophy there is no black or white, no right or wrong. Everything is an experience and the meaning of that experience is a subjective interpretation of the world you live in.
While I was reading a biography of an occult teacher, I came across a sentence that shaped my life for the past 15 years. This occult teacher was travelling all over the world with a group of like-minded people. They called themselves: Seekers of Truth. When I read that line it was as if I was struck by lightning. Seeker of Truth. The desire for wisdom was connected to my desire for truth. From that moment on I felt that I was on a quest for THE truth. I knew there had to be a truth. One truth. I searched in a lot of places, read a lot of books, but I didn’t find THE truth.
A desire to have a teacher
As a young girl I had this great reverence for the elders in my church. I thought they knew it all. I thought they were wise beyond measure and I went to my pastor with even the smallest of questions. I had the desire to do things right in the eyes of the ones in authority. I really wanted them to correct me and to teach me. A crack in this reverence came when I saw that the elders were human, just like me. Some struggled in their marriage, some loved riches, some couldn’t deal with ‘difficult people’ or challenging situations.
My desire for wisdom brought me to trainers and teachers in all types of spiritual practices. When I was in my 30’s I had an optimistic view of life and I trusted in my teachers. I thought that they were really wiser than I was. I tried to absorb as much knowledge and ‘wisdom’ from them as I could. But, in the end these teachers turned out to be ‘just as human’ as I was. They failed, they were imperfect, they were dishonest, they were self-centered or prideful. I realized over time that I learned a lot from them, but not always the things I thought I would learn.
In New Age there was this saying that if you are ready for your teacher, he (or she) will appear at the right time. I was so done with all the ‘human’ teachers that I didn’t feel any interest in being involved in new teachings with new guru’s, yet I was still longing for this all-knowing, trustworthy teacher. I didn’t know where to look.
A desire to be obedient
Of all the desires God planted in my heart, this one was the most confusing. It took me quite some time to understand this desire fully.
One aspect of meeting this desire was to listen to and learn from the elders and teachers I had. I kind of surrendered to their theories, their interpretation of life and the practices they taught. I implemented the things I learned, but there were still pieces of the puzzle missing. I somehow knew that it was not right to be obedient to a person, since we, human beings, aren’t flawless. We are susceptible to power and influence and we tend to be prideful. When you surrender to a human teacher, a guru, you never know if he or she is really trustworthy and really wants your good (instead of their own good).
The desire to be obedient also showed itself in my choice of partners. My second husband had a strong will and a dominant attitude. I wanted to serve him as his wife, but somehow it felt wrong as well. It was a struggle. I ‘experimented’ with it, but I was always disappointed, since it felt like a one-way street. It didn’t bring the joy and fulfillment I somehow expected. Why did I feel this longing to be obedient to him, or to ‘someone’, and why did it feel wrong at the same time to be obedient to a man? Why did I feel this struggle as an independent, strong woman? Nobody should ever submit him- or herself to someone else, right?
I didn’t know how to deal with this so I put this whole ‘being-obedient-thing’ on hold.
But God … made me understand the desires of my heart …
In 2018 God started to work in my life and in my heart. Reading His Word, the Bible, changed every aspect of my life. He started to fill this hole in my heart. It turned out that He was the only One that was able to fill the void and to meet the deep desires of my heart. The desires that I was trying to meet for more then 40 years ….
He showed real Love
God gave me Love. He filled my heart with His Love so that I finally was able to know Love. It turned out to be something completely different than what I thought it was. How grateful I am for His Love.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
(1 John 4:8)
He taught me Wisdom
God gave me His Holy Word to fill my heart with His Wisdom. I finally knew where to look if I wanted answers on questions in my life. Word after word, page after page, chapter after chapter, book after book were filled with all that I wanted to know. I had (and have) this great hunger in my heart to learn and to understand what God wanted to teach me. Slowly but surely God is filling my heart and mind with His wisdom!
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Psalm 111:10)
He gave the Truth
God gave me Jesus as the Truth. As soon as I started reading the Bible I knew I was reading THE Truth and that Jesus Himself was the truth. What a relieve to finally be able to know the truth, just by listening to Jesus.
“Jesus answered: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
He is my teacher
God gave me a teacher in the Holy Spirit. This teacher was, and is, working in my heart, not only for my good, but also for God’s glory. A trustworthy teacher, who always speaks the truth and who always share great wisdom. Why would I need another teacher if I have God?
‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you’. (John 14:26)
God gave me Christ as my Lord and Savior, to meet my innate need to surrender, to obey and to serve. By listening to my Teacher I discovered that we, human beings, need to conscientiously choose who we want to serve. While I used to serve myself and the world, I now know Who to serve. It is with great joy that I can now fully surrender to obeying the Name that is above every other name, Jesus. Now there is no more doubt, no confusion, no hesitation, no anxiety to do wrong. I know that obeying my Lord will bless me beyond comprehension.
‘Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.’ (Romans 6:16-18)
The God-shaped hole is finally filled. With God Himself.
‘And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,’(Hebrews 5:9)