That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NLT)

One day Jesus was watching people. (Matthew 9:36) As he watched them he began to have compassion on them. He saw their plight and wished he could lighten their load. He likened them to sheep without a shepherd. What he didn’t mean is that they were just wandering around physically and doing nothing in particular. He didn’t see random activity; he saw a lack of passion and contentment in life.

That man there was struggling because the woman he loved wasn’t the one he went home to every night. The woman in the corner had been out partying and found herself in bed with someone she didn’t know. That person just got the doctors report and has only months to live. Some were burdened with debt. The man with his chin on his chest was trying to figure out how to tell the family he’d just lost his job.

Some carried emotional scars that seemed to cast a shadow on everything in life. Others were tired of trying to follow a life philosophy which only demanded more and never said “I have enough.” They’d tried religion and found it irrelevant. They’d tried chemicals and felt the pain of rejection. They’d bounced from one relationship to another to another and now, this one was on the ropes.

What Jesus saw was nothing new. It happens everyday. Stop and have a cup of coffee in a mall and just sit and watch those going by. Don’t just see the bodies. See the stories etched on their faces. Sit for a few moments in the doctor’s waiting room and take notice of the wringing hands and nervous body shifts. Visit a prison, a hospice, a drug and alcohol recovery center, a prison. Every person different; every longing the same. The longing for passionate relationship and contentment in life.

Solomon saw it too. He was the rich kid on the block. He had all the new toys, the biggest house and the coolest dad. When he had a party you knew it would be good. Only the most popular kids would be invited to this one.

Once ole’ Sol’s dad died the spending took off in earnest. He lavished himself with everything he could possibly think of. But even then nothing filled the void. All the women, all the houses, all the boats and newest gadgets couldn’t heal the gaping wound in his soul that cried out for meaningful relationship and freedom from emptiness.

So his final conclusion is one that each of us needs to heed. What’s needed to fill the void isn’t people, toys or philosophy. It won’t be found in religious dogma, political activism or having the right to ‘choose’. The healing of our wound can only be found in a relationship with the God of Genesis and following the life examples of his son, Jesus Christ. Nothing else works. People throughout the history of the world have tried everything imaginable. Only Jesus works and he longs for you to come to him for healing.

PRAYER: God, I’ve tried so many things to try to find happiness. I’m tired of the battle. I feel beaten up, bruised and scarred. Empower me with your spirit to stop fighting to find a way. Help me to follow your way to healing by living for you. In Jesus name, Amen.