My last post was about what we need most, so this week it seems natural to talk about who we need most. Obviously, each person needs a family that loves them. In my experience, as a parent of three boys, and as a child myself, the father role is exceedingly important. I could read to my boys, take them to the park, buy them new toys, feed them their favorite foods, and play games with them all day long, but none of this compares to five minutes of football with Daddy. Although it should be noted that Saturday’s football fun resulted in a single stitch for Nate’s chin, and guess who got to take him to the ER? And when my dad was alive his approval was of great importance to me. I wanted to make him proud in way that did not and does not apply to my mom. Maybe that just indicates the security I have of her undying love, I don’t know for sure. I just know there is something special about daddies and all the statistics about the fatherless are heartbreaking.
So family is important, but we need friends too–people who are going to love us, and encourage us and hold us accountable. It’s great to have friends who are at your same stage of life; you can exchange familiar stories and knowing smiles. But it’s also fun to have friends from other generations. Caitlin (my twenty-two-year-old niece) and I have now had dinner twice with women who span five decades. We call it the multi-generational girls night out, or miggno. It is a total blast–plus the wisdom shared by those who have lived life is invaluable. Every woman would be blessed by a regular miggno, although I am extremely partial to the members of ours.
But friends and family are not who we need most in this life. In fact, if you expect mere mortals to meet your deepest needs you will always be disappointed. Always. Is the divorce rate not proof? How about all the fractured families and friendships? The best friend in the world is still imperfect. The best spouse in the world is still going to say things to hurt your feelings. The best parent in the world is still going to fall short in some way. There is only one person who lived a perfect life, and there is only one person who loves you perfectly. Blaise Pascal, the brilliant French mathematician from the seventeenth century, recognized the silly charade we play of trying to fill the longings in our hearts with earthly substitutes. Pascal said we have a God-shaped hole in our heart that only God can fill.
The Holy, Perfect God of the Universe loves you. Through the redemptive work that Jesus Christ did on the cross, you can experience relationship with Him. You can have that God-shaped hole in your heart filled to overflowing. You can rid yourself of that nagging feeling that something in this life is missing. Because if you don’t know Jesus, something is missing! You are missing the Person you need most. The Person who knows you and loves you best!
As we contemplate this week, the suffering of Jesus, the betrayal by those closest to Him, and the atonement He offered for our sins, I pray that we come to appreciate His sacrifice more than ever. And I pray that if there is anyone who reads this that doesn’t know Jesus in a real and personal way, that they will put their trust in Him. He loves you. He loves you perfectly. And He is who we all need most.