We often speak in the church about a "God-shaped Hole" inside of everyone that only He can fill. I have been thinking about this and how to communicate it in a way that isn't too emotional and cheesy, but also captures the illogical attempts that we all have made to try to fill that void that keeps us restless and longing for peace from the inside out. I have a thought, now, that I'd like you to contemplate with me.
My father-in-law loves putting puzzles together - Sitting there and staring at all the pieces; trying to figure out where they go. The strategy we all find works best is to get the framework done first; find all the edge pieces with the straight side and connect them to make our boundaries for the other pieces. (There are too many possible comparisons to make to the life of a believer to allow myself too much distraction, so I will not go into the meaning of the framework that needs to be in place so we can put the pieces together in our spiritual growth. But that would also be an interesting discussion.)
But have you ever gotten to the last few pieces of the puzzle and realized you have a piece missing? That is really frustrating when you think of all the time you put into that puzzle, and it is still going to be incomplete no matter what you do.
Will it help to move pieces around and try to fill in that gap? No. The picture will still be incomplete. If you just ignore the hole left by the missing piece, will it go away? No. You can mess with it a hundred different ways, or just stay away from it so you don't have to think about it, but that puzzle will never be complete unless you find that missing piece.
People tend to try to adjust their lives to fill the void in their hearts with pieces that don't fit. They look at other people's lives and try to use their strategies for fixing their own lives. They know something is missing, and the emptiness is visible to them and to everyone who knows them. They can't ignore the void, because it is always with them. They try to find ways to forget, but the void always reappears in the same place when they regain their focus. Like that puzzle, no amount of switching up the same pieces of their lives will fill that emptiness. They will never be complete until they find the missing piece.
Interestingly, when I ask people what changed the most about their lives when they gave their hearts to Jesus, they almost unanimously say: "I just have this peace; like I've never know before."
That uneasy, restless emptiness, is a deep need for peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. When He was preparing to leave His disciples to return to heaven, Jess said, "Peace I give you; My peace I leave with you." Why "peace"? Because God knew that what we all needed was peace between Him and us, so He sent Jesus to take His wrath off of us - which only Jesus could do - on the cross, and bring peace between God and man.
Peace. That is the need; that is the hunger; that is the drive. We all need peace, and we find it in Jesus Christ. Turns out, the "Missing Piece is the Missing Peace". I found the final piece to the puzzle of my life: His Name is Jesus!