There are so many things I ask God for. Health, safety, blessing, patience, wisdom, patience, direction, patience. Did I mention patience?
But sometime over the course of the summer I realized that IT had happened again. In the course of the busy living, and the asking for all the good things we all want, and the basking in the good things God graciously gives, I had unconsciously slid into the “I’ve got this” rut. Or maybe “pit” would be a better term. The subtle shift from desperation for God to Professional Christian. Yuck. I definitely do not think the world needs more of those. Because lurking in that pit are ugly things like smugness, self-sufficiency, and critical attitudes all slithering around their Big Daddy, Pride. Not the kind of things nice Christians confess on any given Sunday morning.
Then one morning in my Bible reading, I encountered Jesus saying that without the Father, He could do nothing. Not just “not as much”, or “not as many” or “couldn’t walk on the water quite as long”, but NOTHING. That comes from a Greek word that means “NOTHING”.
If He couldn’t, what makes me think I am sufficient for anything at all on my own, either? When did the speck in my eye grow into a 2 by 4? When He said “blessed are the poor in spirit”, what did that mean? Somehow I don’t think it meant smug Christians who are impressed with their own righteousness.
Do I know what it means to be poor in spirit? To need Him? To be aware of my great, cavernous need of Him? Because whether we are willing to recognize it our not, we all need Him. Blessed are those who know it!
So instead of asking for things – however good they may be – I am asking for the gift of emptiness. Sounds like a strange gift to ask for, doesn’t it? But the great gift of emptiness is that vessels that are empty of the things of this world are ready to be filled with the glory of God. Isn’t that what those of us who are Christ-followers want? Just Him…more of Him.
Because I can’t heal a sick child, but He can. I can’t comfort a grieving friend, but He can. I can’t take a horrible situation and miraculously redeem it into something beautiful, but He can! I can’t even be the godly wife and mother I want to be without Christ in me, the hope of glory. And to have more of Him, there needs to be less of me.
So right now the gift of emptiness is looking mighty good…not for the sake of remaining empty, but in the promise of being filled to overflowing with the Presence of God.
Will you join me? Drop me a comment and tell me what that looks like for you, and I’ll pray for you as we journey together.
PS – empty room photo credit: Photo via Visualhunt.com