“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” --John 10:10
I grew up on Mick Jaggar’s words in his song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”. Mick didn’t seem to experience satisfaction in life so why could I expect to? He was the famous one living a life of fame, wealth and privilege. If his life was lacking, how could I expect more for myself?
These words ring true for far too many of us today. We live surviving, and we think that is the way it is supposed to be. I believe that Jesus’ words in John 10:10 say something else. Jesus came to bring us life–abundant life.
Does abundance equal satisfaction? What I have found for myself and for the many women with whom I have worked over the years is that we have holes in our hearts. Blaise Pascal called these holes “God shaped vacuums”. In our desperation to find meaning in life, purpose, peace, we seek to fill these holes or vacuums. It is like the young child trying to fit that piece in the puzzle. She tries each and every piece except the one that fits.
That certainly has been the story of my life. I have tried to fill my “God shaped vacuum” with everything: performance, money, success, a husband, children, food, alcohol, shopping, affirmation. Sadly, the list could go on for days. Like the frustrated child, I have found that while those things brought a temporary fit or filling, they never truly filled the void. The puzzle piece just wouldn’t stay; it didn’t look right and it definitely didn’t feel right. My hole was still there. My hole hurt!
When I look back to the passage in John, Jesus had been teaching about the sheep and the good shepherd (John 10:11). I understand that there are many things and people in life who make promises. These things or people try to fill the vacuum, but they fall short. Instead of satisfying, they rob me of peace and purpose. These are the thieves. The thieves are different in each person’s life. Now, I understand why “I can’t get no satisfaction” -- I am not looking to the true shepherd!
The call of Jesus is to follow the true shepherd. He is the true shepherd. He is the answer to our God-shaped vacuum. The path to abundance is one of trust, surrender and faith. When I follow the Good Shepherd, life may not always be easy, but it is full, full of God’s promises, provision and His wonderful plans of redemption and purpose. It is in His plan that I find the satisfaction, the abundance that I seek. It is here that I learn to thrive instead of survive.