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 God originally made us to be in perfect communion with Him, and anything short of that is a void.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.