Why We Go Through Life Disappointed, Unfulfilled & Hungry for More
By: Lisa Robertson
Al and I have talked to literally thousands of broken and hurting people over the past twenty years. Why they are broken varies from individual to individual. Many have experienced the pain of rejection when their spouse left the marriage and went off in a different direction. Others were wounded after losing a child or finding out that their son or daughter had fallen prey to drug or alcohol addiction.
Sometimes, much of our pain is self-inflicted, as it was in my case. But even then, it was a previous painful experience which was not my fault that set me up perfectly to believe Satan’s lie that I could find fulfillment in something other than Jesus.
I don’t want to be too simplistic, but there is literally no healing outside of a hot pursuit of the God who first began to form us in our mother’s womb. That’s a mistake that I made and one that Al and I see others making every single day. The pain is real, but man-made solutions never are. Satan’s strategies are designed to destroy us. They are lies. However, God’s plan is to put us on the right track, the narrow road that leads to eternal life.
But who is this God? What is his character? What’s he like?
When I read the Bible, I don’t see God portrayed as an angry judge eager to pounce on us when we do wrong. Nor do I seem him described as an old grandpa that can be easily manipulated. Instead, I see a holy God who is mightier than we could imagine, but who is also a God of intense passionate love. He is loving, but he is also fiercely jealous for me.
The book of John presents these two attributes of God together in an amazing way. He is 100% holy, and he is 100% love. In John 1, we find out that Jesus is responsible for creation. “Without him, nothing was made that has been made.” But as his character begins to be revealed to us through Jesus’ short life on earth, we begin to see that God is also wildly compassionate toward sinners.
In John 10, he compares himself to a good shepherd. Unfortunately, in 2022, most of us are unfamiliar with sheep and their shepherds. So, what would a good shepherd look like? What would he do with his flock?
Jesus said a good shepherd would relentlessly protect his flock at all costs. He says that a good shepherd offers a full and abundant life for those who are among his flock. The good shepherd loves his flock — every single lamb is precious to him.
Our problem is that we sometimes want the lush pastures without the shepherd. We desire to fend off the wolves, robbers, and thieves without the protection of the only one appointed to guide us into abundance. We foolishly would rather go it alone, but we wonder why we are so unsatisfied.
The result of this miscalculation is that we ignorantly feed on dry pastures. We consume little morsels of withered grass that will never fill us. So, we go through life hungry for more, but the thieves and robbers and wolves steal what we should know — that only the one who formed us from dust can truly fulfill us.
Trust me when I tell you that I am way too familiar with consuming the withered fruit that is available to us when we live our lives life away from my shepherd. You can also trust me that nothing good came out of it for me. Only pain, sorrow, heartbreak, and debilitating dysfunction. It was only when I fell face down in the dew-soaked grass and begged God to show me the light that I began to be satisfied.
I don’t care whether the pain in your life is something that happened to you or because of you, I want to encourage you to stop following the false shepherds who lie and steal. They do not have your best interest at heart. Instead follow the shepherd who has proven that he loves you.
Jesus? The Good Shepherd? He will never disappoint you. He will always protect you, and he will always feed you. With him shepherding you, you will always have abundance.
Image credit: Anna Tarazevich