This time last year, I found myself reflecting on my first semester of freshman year of college.
It was fun, I'll admit. It was eventful and exciting; I stayed up every night until 3:00 a.m. and was constantly with my friends. However, as I reflected on my semester, I realized that I had spent the past four months searching.
Yes, searching: for acceptance, for attention, and for love. I felt like I had to feel like I had enough friends and enough attention at all times. I spent every Friday and Saturday night downtown because that's where my friends and the cute boys were. I clung to any ounce of interest a boy would show me and would do the craziest things to get the approval of my friends. However, every Sunday morning I would wake up full of regret and feeling empty.
Christmas break came, and I realized that that wasn't the life I wanted to live. I knew that I would only find true satisfaction when I laid my life down to the One who gave me life.
I told myself everything was going to be different. And while I changed my actions, my heart hadn't changed in the slightest.
I found myself going to church and every campus ministry I could fit into my schedule because I wanted people to notice me. I wanted the approval of my Christian peers. I wanted the attention and the glory and the praise. I wanted the acceptance; I was still searching.
However, I'd find myself feeling that same emptiness that I would feel the morning after going out. I was never satisfied. I never felt "loved" or "accepted" enough, no matter how many Christian friends I surrounded myself with.
How stupid was I to think that I could be satisfied by human love and attention? Why didn't I realize that the love of our Heavenly Father is the greatest love of them all?
Friends, I want you to know that you can try everything from partying to bible study, but no matter where you go, the things of this earth will never be able to satisfy our longing to be loved.
We have a Father who loves us more than we could ever imagine -- He sent His ONLY Son to die for us! Yes, us! Us sinful, dirty, greedy human beings.
His love never fails, never gives up, and never runs out on us. It won't leave us out and it won't let us down. It won't leave us with a one night stand and a hangover, and it won't leave us feeling empty.
No human being will be able to show you a fraction of that love.
No human being will be able to satisfy your desire for this kind of love.
This isn't a struggle that's sensitive to people who party and people who don't. This is a struggle that we all face. And if we keep looking to the world to fulfill our desire to be loved, we're going to be consistently left feeling empty.
If you go out because you're looking for attention and acceptance, you're going out for the wrong reasons. If you go to church because you want approval from others, you go to church for the wrong reason. Trust me, I've been there.
So, take a step back and reflect on what you're doing. If the Lord isn't satisfying your desire for love and acceptance, what is? You and I both know that whatever it is, it's doing a crappy job of satisfying your heart.
Dig deeper. Figure out what it is that is taking priority in your heart over the Lord and flee from it. He brings us a love that will never leave us empty and will never run dry. Why wouldn't we run to it? Why wouldn't we search for that and desire it daily?
His love is greater than life-- search for that kind of love, and you'll never be unsatisfied.