Joy: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
Hollow: having a space or cavity inside; not solid; empty; without real or significant worth; meaningless.
I recently spent the weekend with 8 of my girlfriends from high school. Now I've known these girls for, oh goodness, 15 years I think? We spent many nights in college partying, drinking, smoking, etc.
So you can only imagine how weird it was when I stopped doing all of that and started puruing Christ, right?
One of the conversations I would have over and over with people is "Why? Why would stop partying? Don't you want to have fun? Don't you want to be happy?"
My response was and still is . . . Yes! But those things don't bring true joy, happiness, and satisfaction. They are fun in the moment, but I wake up the next morning feeling empty . . . feeling hollow.
So that may have been years ago that I was able to see that partying was a hollow joy, one that is fleeting and doesn't last. But what about now? Where in my life I'm seeking happiness from hollow places? It may not be booze anymore, but where do I look for joy in places that are not everlasting joy?
"When one consistently chooses cyberspace over holy space-life becomes a hollow place." -Ann Voskamp
Could it be in silly things like Facebook, watching tv, Pinterest?
Or Exercising? Cooking? Shopping?
Or even deeper, in friendships, feeling needed, etc.
Where am I seeking pleasure in the lesser instead of the Greater?
Where am I searching for joy outside of Christ?
None of those things listed above are bad. I know that the LORD wants us to enjoy even the smallest things in life! But, when I evaluate how much time I spend on Facebook or Pinterest, compared to time with the LORD, I don't think I'm seeking joy in the right things. When I've had a bad day and I want to go on a run (or in my case speed walk) rather than go to the Throne of grace, I'm not seeking joy in the right things.
Is it any wonder that when life is out of control and we seek joy in the wrong things, we end up joyless?
Is it any wonder that when we seek comfort from worldly things, rather than God of all comfort, we end up uncomfortable? Is it any wonder that when we seek peace from apart from the Prince of Peace we end up troubled, worried, anxious, and fearful? Is it any wonder that when we eat the bread that does not satisfy, rather than the Bread of Life, we are stil hungry?
Let's reject that temporary retreat of hollow joy and seek the joy that is everlasting!
"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food." (Isaiah 55:2)
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11)