Running on Empty
"It is not good for man to be alone."1
Years ago, in my single days, I had just arrived home from work one evening and, as I was walking into the front door of my home, a simple but profound truth hit me: "The reason I feel empty is because I am."
I have come to realize more and more that whenever I feel empty, it is because either my "God love cup" or my "people love cup" is running on low or empty.
It is true that we can live well without a lot of things, but we can't live meaningfully without at least one close, loving relationship, and preferably several. It doesn't have to be romantic love, but it does need to be at least brotherly love.
It has been said that there is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart that only God can fill. This is very true, but there is also a people-shaped vacuum that only people can fill. Both need to be kept topped up for total well-being and meaningful living.
I like to visualize my heart as a cup made up of two parts: One is a God-shaped half. The other a people-shaped half. Only as both are "fixed and filled" do I become a whole!
We can no more run on an empty love cup than our car can run on an empty fuel tank. We need to keep our God-love-cup filled by daily keeping in fellowship with God by living a wholesome life; by daily reading and meditating on God's Word, the Bible; by maintaining an active prayer life; and in purposeful fellowship with other Christians. And we need to make sure we get our people-love-cup filled in healthy relationships, otherwise we may be tempted to get our love-cup filled in unhealthy and damaging relationships which can lead to an increase in our feeling of emptiness and, consequently, in time, become ill physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please fill my empty heart with your love and help me to get my people-love-cup filled in healthy ways—and help me to see what I can and need to do to meet both of these God-given needs. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Genesis 2:18.