People often keep busy and ignore their feelings. Yet there is a deep sense that something is missing. Thus we buy more, try more, experience more, do more just to fill a need that we often can not express. But if we were to stop long enough, be quiet long enough, and allow ourselves to think long enough, we would ask, “what am I missing?”
What does it mean when something feels missing?
Feeling something is missing can mean that we are experiencing any number of negative emotions, such as:
When you boil it all down to something short and simple, what we are missing is a sense of purpose and worth. But this often is hard to identify. Furthermore, many people don’t even know how to express it.
So what do these feelings really mean? How can we figure out what we need?
How do you figure out what you are missing?
Most of us use trial and error to figure out what is missing in our lives. For example, it is like a mechanic that begins replacing parts on a car without first doing any diagnostics. Unfortunately, that is how many of us function.
Consequently, this kind of approach is costly. When we don’t know what is missing, we will spend money we don’t need to spend. Physical energy will be wasted. We will enter into relationships that won’t work. Our emotions leave us bankrupt over and over. Trial and error is not the solution.
Another tactic that does not work is busyness. But If we want to figure out what is missing, we must take a break from all that keeps our minds occupied, like:
- Constant background music
- Social media
- Watching TV
- All the other things that keep us busy
Therefore, the first step in figuring out what is missing is to stop, be quiet, and think. If that scares you, you are not alone.
What am I missing in life?
Are you tired of chasing after things that don’t satisfy you? Then here are some of the basics to consider.
When I feel lonely, what am I missing?
We all need companionship. But so often when we enter into relationships, they don’t work out. And even if they do, we still have a nagging sense that something is lacking. A high percentage of even married people feel lonely. Why? We are trying to make another human meet our needs and they can’t.
When I feel empty, what am I missing?
We all need to find purpose in life, something that fills our emotional cup with satisfaction, meaning, and worth. But so often we throw ourselves into a job, service project, hobby, or recreation. While none of these things are bad, they still leave us feeling empty. Their satisfaction is only temporary.
When I feel anxious, what am I missing?
We all need stability in our lives. The unknown with its many surprises isn’t something we look forward to. Predictably, we often take matters into our own hands. We desperately try to control circumstances and the people around us. But ultimately, we still sense that something is missing.
“What am I missing?” is an age old question
In case we think that it is just our generation that asks these questions, let me assure you that it has been voiced down through the ages. One of the Biblical prophets summed it up back in about 520 BC when he penned these words:
“Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.” Haggai 1:5-6
In other words, the prophet was saying that everything they do is not satisfying. They want more and more but still feel empty.
Does the Bible have answers for what I am missing?
The answer to this question is YES.
The Bible is the owner’s manual for life. It has the diagnostic tests for what is wrong. God tells us what the missing parts are to the puzzle of life.
Here is what the Bible has to say about finding what we are missing.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 ESV
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
We have a constant companion in God, our loving father. Isn’t that what we long for? To be with someone? For a helper to encourage us? Loneliness is real, but so is God. He wants to be our forever companion. We were created for this most important relationship and without it, something is missing.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you …” Jeremiah 1:5a
We long for a sense of purpose and worth. Our value was established before we were even born. And God has plans for us that will give us all the purpose we need. Even our everyday activities can have great purpose when we do them to the honor and glory of God.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
We long for stability in our lives. Having our needs met is high on our priority list. But there are so many unknowns in life. Will I lose my job? OR, Will I get married? Other times our world feels like it is crumbling around us. Oh that we would remember that we can trust an unknown future to the God who holds all things in His hands. He already knows what will happen and He can be trusted with our lives.
No longer asking, “what am I missing?”
We all start out looking in the wrong places for something to fill that emptiness we feel. The truth is, apart from a relationship with Jesus, we will continue to feel empty. We won’t have lasting purpose and meaning.
Do you know Jesus? If not, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus would love to talk to you and answer those questions. You can call them, text them, or chat online. There is someone waiting there to talk to you right now.
Even when we know Jesus, there will be times that we still feel a bit empty. It won’t be completely eliminated until we meet Him face to face. Therefore, we need to press into Jesus when we are feeling like something is missing.
I like this quote from Tara-Leigh Cobble.
“When we gaze at Him (Jesus), we can’t deny it — everything about HIM is what our souls know is missing.” Bible Recap, p. 545
Final thoughts and a gift
As humans, we are incomplete without God. He is what we are missing. The way we connect with Him is through a relationship with Jesus.
Several Christian musicians talk about what we are missing in songs that I hope you will take the time to listen to. We need God every minute of our lives. He is like the air that we breathe.
“Who your are to me, by Chris Tomlin. “When I’m empty, you fill me … Lord you’re the air that I breathe.”
“Lord I need you, every hour I need you,” by Matt Maher
To help you remember that Jesus is what you are missing, I want to give you this Scripture card to download. No email is required.
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Thanks to Open Bible for easy navigation of Bible verses by topic.