In the heart of mankind, there is a deep longing that never seems to be satisfied…an emptiness that we try to fill with possessions, relationships, and the work of our hands but, each time we possess or achieve the thing we think will fill the void, we find that the emptiness has grown deeper. Like nostalgia from an old memory. It can almost be grasped when we see a beautiful sunset, share a meal with those we love, or hear a beautiful piece of music but it always seems to barely slip through our fingers. It is shown in how easily we become discontented, how feverishly we are always seeking that which will bring us peace and fill the emptiness, but we never quite find it.
We accumulate possessions but, before we know it, they lose their luster. We seek to meet the longing inside of us through other people, such as a lover or child. We soon become frustrated because we find that they cannot appease the relentless hunger of our emptiness. We think we can achieve our way to peace with education, promotions, or trophies. It seems that, no matter what we gain or achieve, the emptiness always returns. Some live their whole lives in this never-ending cycle of obtaining followed by emptiness, often turning to alcohol or drugs to numb the despair. Others surrender and end up in prison, a mental institution, or dead.
Are we meant to live our lives with this constant longing that never seems to be filled? C.S. Lewis points out:
Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex.
I propose that the deep longing in our hearts is meant to be met—we have just been looking in the wrong place. God says in Jeremiah 2:13, “They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” We look here and there, trying to find fulfillment in anything besides God. J. C. Ryle tells us of the danger of seeking our fulfillment in earthly pleasures:
All that glitters is not gold. All that tastes sweet is not good. All that pleases for a while is not real pleasure. Go and take your fill of earthly pleasures if you will—you will never find your heart satisfied with them. There will always be a voice within, crying, like the leech in Proverbs 30:15, "Give! Give!" There is an empty place there, which nothing but God can fill. You will find, as Solomon did by experience, that earthly pleasures are but a meaningless show—promising contentment but bringing a dissatisfaction of spirit—gold plated caskets, exquisite to look at on the outside, but full of ashes and corruption within. Be wise in your youth. Write the word "poison" on all earthly pleasures. The most lawful of them must be used in moderation. All of them are soul-destroying if you give them your heart.
One catechism aptly states: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” When we seek to live life apart from God and His original design for humanity, we are living apart from the source of the peace, goodness, and joy we are seeking. Jesus Christ beckons you:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
 C. S Lewis, The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics (San Francisco, Calif.: Harper San Francisco, 2007), 114.
 Jeremiah 2:13, NIV
 J. C. Ryle, Thoughts for Young Men, Kindle (Prisbrary Publishing, 2012), Kindle Location 277.
 The Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1647, Question 1.
 Matthew 11:28-30