In the late 17th century, Catholic theologian and scientist Blaise Pascal authored a book titled Pensées. In it, he wrote:
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 concept evolved over the years to become the commonly used quote, “We all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts only God can fill.”
While not specifically from Scripture, the sentiment is generally true. God originally made us to be in perfect communion with Him, and anything short of that is a void. Sin destroyed the original order.
There are a lot of bad things going on in the world today. But there have been other times when the world convulsed and wrenched in violence, discord, and anger. Too many times.
But this time seems to be a little different. There’s a spiritual component of all that is going on which is hard to ignore.
If you listen to the underlying sentiments of all the different voices, there’s a desire for a better world altogether. All political parties, social-justice groups, identity groups, religions, everyone want a world without the problems we have now.
In the last book of the Bible, John wrote a description of this world:
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children” (Revelation 21:1-7 NIV).
Unfortunately, the next verse says not everyone will be able to live in the new earth. But that doesn’t mean all of mankind doesn’t desire the idea of it. They seem to have a “new earth” shaped hole in their hearts.
In the new earth, there won’t be any police, since they wouldn’t have anything to do.
No racial conflict.
No relationship conflicts.
No food insecurity.
No need for any sort of healthcare.
No slavery or human trafficking.
No trade or any other kind of wars.
No climate issues.
No need to worry about anything.
No viruses, anger, crime, hate, death, crying, or even pain.
The entire world is convulsing, and I am saddened so many people don’t know they are looking for something that has always been there. Unlike Dorothy in the land of Oz, we don’t click our heels together.
Instead, we confess our inability to solve our problems, ask forgiveness for our own sin, and acknowledge the very God who created this world as our Savior and Lord. He will make us new from the inside now and eventually make an entirely new earth.
Jesus died with holes in his hands, side, and feet so the holes in our hearts would be filled forever.
Hey, world, Christian writers have what you want.
The new earth … God’s autonomous zone.
Well said. Looking forward to His return.
Yes! Lord Jesus, come quickly!
So good and so true. Praise God.
So beautifully written and so true too.
They say they want a better world,
full bellies and stocked shelves,
but it seems, from all the hate that’s hurled,
they want it for themselves,
and devil take the rest of us
who don’t fully agree,
and we’ll be tossed beneath the bus
as martyrs to their glee
Perhaps there is a Golden Mean,
a meeting-place for hearts
where we can learn to share the dream,
where God’s compassion starts
to repair that which we cannot mend,
and stills the mad resolve to rend.
Linda Riggs Mayfield
Powerful poetry, there, Andrew! Thank you.
Thank YOU, Linda!
The new city is not on Earth.
Darlene N. Böcek
What a wonderful reminder. Thank you, Dan, for these strong, faith-FULL words about what we are living for…and what we are WRITING for. Amen and amen. This world is not our home, but while we are here, let us point up and encourage and build up people to know that our hope for a perfect world is built into us as surely as conscience is a part of us. Eternity in our hearts, as Solomon said.
Welcome back, Dan! I loved this post. This is the truth the world needs now more than ever. Christian writing at its finest 🙂
I find myself more and more longing for Jesus to return.
Just like it says – all that happened and is present today, provided you trust in him.
I enjoyed reading this. It gets at the bigger picture while speaking of the present reality. And Jesus meets the human spiritual need to fill the “holes in our hearts.” How true and precious and life-giving. This post is a beautiful encouragement in contrast to the strangeness of these days. Very nice. Hopeful.
Kristen Joy Wilks
A hope to remember!!!
Ronda Wells MD
Great article! I had never seen that Pascal quote before. Quite the chemist/scientist and quite the Christian theologian, too.
Ann L Coker
When I taught children the Wordless Book, we started with what was NOT in heaven and some of that surprised the kids. For example, there will be no night stars or daylight for God is our light.
What an astounding thought, Dan, that Jesus died with holes in his hands, feet and side so He could fill the holes in our hearts. Thank you; I never thought of it that way before now.
Thank you for the reminder. My heart is sad for those that are lost, that do not know the peace they can have in Christ.
I used to be an atheist. So I totally understand atheists’ need for a substitute salvation. The guilt they bear is horrible.
Save the whales, but kill the babies. They are in the death throes of trying to save themselves.
Well said 👏🏼
And the last bit, “Jesus died with holes in His hands, side and feet so the holes in our hearts could be filled forever” what a beautiful and true statement!
It’s a good reminder that we have the truth, what the world is longing for, and the opportunity to share it.
Thank you, Dan, so much for writing this. It is a blessing to me.
And thank you that you wrote it instead of podcasting it. I don’t listen to podcasts. I learn more if I can read the content material.
This was a well-timed and beautiful reminder of what we have to look forward to!
OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU
May God’s Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven! AMEN. Thanks for the post, Dan. God bless you.
Pascal was such a fascinating man –mathematician and Christian who sewed into his coat a note telling about his conversion! I appreciated your post about each person’s need for that conversion, and I especially loved your ending where you said Jesus died with holes in his side and hands and feet so the holes in our hearts would be filled forever. Beautiful!
Beautiful and inviting. What the world needs now is love sweet love – the love of Jesus.
Carol R Nicolet Loewen
Love this. Thank you! Your statement “The entire world is convulsing, and I am saddened so many people don’t know they are looking for something that has always been there” resonates with me, as does your statement that “Jesus died with holes in his hands, side, and feet so the holes in our hearts would be filled forever.”
What a great God! Thanks for reminding us of these truths.