Mike Schatzman

Lisboa, Portugal

the hole in my heart

I grew up going to church, but for me it didn't mean much.  I went to church more out of habit.  It wasn't that I had anything against God.  The truth is, I just figured that I didn't really need Him.  I thought He was way up in heaven and I was down here on earth.  I was busy down here on earth with my life.  And God was busy up in heaven trying to solve all the problems on earth - like hunger, disease, and war. If I needed anything I could call God, but for now I didn't need to bother Him because my life was going well.


When I got into high school I began to notice that something in my life was missing.  I was a good student and made good grades, but that didn't satisfy me.  I was a swimmer and spent many hours practicing.  I won some competitions and achieved my goals. For a short time that satisfied me.  But eventually that satisfaction faded and again I sensed something was missing in my life.

I had a lot of friends and would go out with them and have a good time.  But still I noticed that something in my life was missing.  I had the things in life  that I thought would make me satisfied and happy.  But still something was missing.  It was as if I had a hole in my heart that I could not fill.

During this time I met some people who seemed to have something that I didn't.  They had joy, satisfaction and a sense of purpose.  And they talked about God as if he was a friend.  


My friends explained to me that they had a relationship with God. I wanted that kind of a relationship with God too. But they explained to me that my sin separated me from God.  I had never thought of myself as a sinful person - I had never robbed or killed anyone and I tried to help other people.  But they explained to me that sin wasn't just the bad things we did (and honestly I had done some bad things).  But sin was also attitudes and indifference towards God. It hit me pretty hard when I realized that I was separated from God. I genuinely wanted a relationship with him.  

My friends explained to me how God provided a solution for our sins - Jesus.  Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins.  Because of his death and resurrection I could now have a relationship with God.  I just needed to accept Jesus.  Accepting Jesus means agreeing with God that we are responsible for turning our backs on him, trusting God to forgive us completely because Jesus paid the price for our sin, and choosing to follow Jesus.


After I accepted Jesus, I noticed that things in my life began to change.  The hole in my heart was filled.  I still tried to get good grades at school, still competed in swimming, still had friends and still enjoyed all those things.  But I no longer looked to those things to give me a sense of satisfaction and fill the hole in my heart.  

I now have a sense of purpose, joy and satisfaction that comes from God and not from temporary things. This sense of purpose and satisfaction allows me to be who God created me to be.  And it allows me to accept people as God created them to be.

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