The God-Shaped Vacuum

A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes

"His [God’s] purpose in all of this was that the
nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their
way toward him and find him–though he is not far from
any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist."1
Years ago Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) insightfully said,
"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."
This is true and vital, but I would dare to suggest
that it doesn’t present the entire picture for, as
Pascal also said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum [or
cup, as I like to put it] in the heart" of all of us;
there is also a people-shaped cup. And while our
God-shaped cup needs to be filled with the love of God,
our people-shaped cup needs to be filled with the love
of people.
If either one of these cups is empty, life can feel
void and meaningless. And then we seek to fill the void
within and deaden the pain of our empty lives with
things, endless activities, seeking approval,
super-busyness, illicit sex, alcohol, drugs and stuff,
stuff, and more stuff and, at least here in the West,
we are left longing in the midst of a land of plenty.
The fact is that God has created us for
relationships–both with himself and each other. It has
been rightfully said that 80 percent of life’s
satisfaction comes from the quality of our
relationships. Without loving relationships we limp
along in the shadows of life and will most likely die
long before our time. While it may not be desirable, we
can live without romantic love, but we cannot live
healthily without healthy loving relationships with at
least one or two–and preferably more–other persons.
Furthermore, without a meaningful relationship with God
there is a deep sense of spiritual emptiness of the
soul. When God created mankind, he created us with the
capacity to communicate with him, to be connected to
him in spirit. The tragedy is that when sin entered the
human race, we were separated or disconnected from God.
But because God loved us he sent his Son, Jesus, to die
on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all
our sins so we could be fully forgiven and be
reconnected to God and then, through Jesus, get our
God-cup or god-shaped vacuum filled.
Note: To begin a spiritual connection/relationship with
God, be sure to read the article, "How to Know God and
be sure you’re a real Christian without having to be
religious" online at:
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to develop
healthy, loving relationships both with you and with
others. And please reveal to me if there are any
barriers in my life that might be hindering either one
of these relationships. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen."
1. Acts 17:27-28 (TLB).
NOTE: If you would like to accept God’s forgiveness for
all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
click on: Or if
you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on to
note this.
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