When I was pregnant with my first child, there was this teeny tiny building in the nearby Food Lion parking lot. Bahama Snow Shack. They sold the most incredible shaved ice. The ice was perfectly shaved, exactly the right texture. The flavors were just sweet enough without being too syrupy. Strawberry. Piña colada. Aaaaaahhh. It was a tiny bit of heaven in my mouth.
I craved the delicious goodness of Bahama Snow Shack. Spring was unseasonably hot that year. I was enormously pregnant. And I made near-daily visits to that little shack.
In the interest of helping our budget, I attempted to substitute popsicles for the Snow Shack’s tasty creations. No brand of popsicle could compete with a giant cup of flavored ice shavings. I borrowed an ice shaver and tried to create my own little Snow Shack in my goldenrod yellow leftover-70’s kitchen. It just wasn’t the same. Nothing quite satisfied my deep craving for tropically-flavored, perfectly-shaved ice like the little building on the outskirts of the Food Lion parking lot.
When I was pregnant with one of the boys, I desperately wanted this chicken dish from a Brazilian restaurant about an hour away. I tried to satisfy that craving for spiciness with tacos and nachos. I searched the internet for recipes and attempted to re-create that flavorful, spicy dish at home. Nothing could satisfy that craving except that exact dish from that exact restaurant.
I’ve been thinking lately. We are all made with this unyielding craving for deep unconditional, perfect love. We are created with a profound desire to be fully known and fully loved. A holy discontentment. A gaping hole in our souls. And the only thing that will truly satisfy this craving is God Himself.
We try to satisfy this craving with all sorts of other things. People who don’t believe and accept Jesus look elsewhere to satisfy this desire. But believers do it too. We try to fill this hole with things – we shop, we decorate, we keep up with the Joneses. We try to fill it with degrees and jobs, with popularity and acceptance. We eat. We drink. We seek fun and excitement. We want our friends, our families, our marriages to fill us up. We think sex or being desired will satisfy this longing. We may even serve and study and work hard to be good and do good, thinking this will surely satiate our souls.
I do it too. My restless soul wanders looking for fulfillment. Not necessarily in bad places. But any time I try to satisfy this soul-craving with anything other than Jesus Himself, my hunger won’t be assuaged.
As Pascal said,
There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, made known through Jesus.
Just like a popsicle is a pretty sorry substitute for the delicious tastiness of a Bahama Snow Shack shaved ice, anything other than Jesus is a poor replacement for our deep soul craving. We are made for Him.