By Alan Bailey
Have you ever wondered why so many people are bored, lonely and dissatisfied? We hear about this problem even with young folk who seem to have everything. Surrounded by good things to enjoy and people to share with, and yet feeling empty. In their hearts is the unsaid question, "What's the use?"
It must be because they are looking in the wrong place for what truly satisfies their deepest longings. Nothing new about that. It is as old as the human race.
Where do we most commonly look? Four main places come to mind.
There are countless experiences that bring pleasure. Eating, drinking, playing games, entertainment, following pastimes and so on. Today, alcohol and drugs loom large on the horizon of many searching souls.
Of course we would prefer pleasure to pain but somehow pain enters the picture too often. Pleasure does not last. King Solomon had everything his imagination could conjure up but he felt the bitterness of emptiness and vanity.
The lure of material things never fails to show up. Each generation has to learn the hard way that money and all that it can buy will never meet what the heart is crying out for. How many have slaved for the dream house and all the trimmings only to find themselves unhappy, their lives lacking a solid foundation. Crumbling relationships often occur where possessions are held as a high priority.
There are many who strive to establish their personal importance. It means a great deal to them. To be a "somebody" is a deep-down wish in the hearts of most of us. So we reach for promotion, publicity, honour, and respect. Now there is nothing wrong with healthy ambition, but how easy it is to hurt others, to give in to pride, to be consumed by the mirage we envisage.
As we grow up, all of us long for acceptance. We want and need it within our families and in our peer group. How many hearts ache today because they receive bullying and rejection rather than the thing they so badly want. Sadly, it can lead to taking one's own life. But popularity is something more than acceptance. Think how many very popular personalities you have heard of who have come to the point of hating their own lives.*After the pinnacle of popularity so often comes a collapse.
This paper records story after story of people who have found what they were looking for in a relationship with the Lord Jesus. Maybe they tried drugs, religion, sport, learning or whatever. But at last they found Him to be the answer, their lives changed forever. He was sent to be our Saviour. He gave himself on the cross on our behalf. He lives to make us what God wants us to be.
Knowing Him brings lasting satisfaction. He said "I came that you may have life and have it more abundantly."
We need to look in the right place for the answer.•