Their plastic sippy cups are always on the counter. Ready to be filled. Everyday. They come, asking me to fill them. So I do. I pour the milk. Again. And again.
A house full of kids. A husband with 12 hour shifts. A sinus cold. High temperatures. No leaving the house. I drink my coffee and take some medicine to help, but inside I feel so…..empty. Out of energy. Strength. Patience. Joy. I pray for the LORD to fill me up, but I don’t take the steps for Him to do it. I can’t.
Hollow. It is scary to be empty. It is exhausting to wake up tired. When I wake up with appointments, ball games, and lessons to plan, I already feel empty. When I wake up with their footsteps and voices echoing in the hallway, I just want to pull the covers over my head. It is a little frightening to feel the void and know in my heart I could never fill myself. I don’t have enough to give them all they need. It is scary to be hollow and discover the empty spaces in my heart.
Empty seems wrong. Abandoned. Horrible. I look around social media. It all seems to say: Look at me. I’m full. I am loved, wanted, and needed. I’m filled. Emptiness is the only thing filling me. Here I am. Alone. Not enough. Not loved. So the empty feelings seem wrong.
Dry. My soul’s lips are parched. Weary of drinking the shallow waters of to-do lists. I find the more I try to fill my heart with things, the more empty I fill. The more I buy, the less I have. The hunger never leaves. As I wait to be filled by little people or my husband. I wait, begging them to fill me. Seeking relationships to pour into me. To take care of me.
Then, I read about Paul: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering…….. 2 Tim. 4:6-8 Poured out. Emptied. Paul looked into his soul and emptied it all. On purpose. His cup was never full. He wasn’t just empty – but deliberate about becoming empty. Paul choose the life of sacrifice. Offering his life, his relationships, his work, and calling on the alter to God. For what? Why did Paul empty himself? Why did Paul give himself over again and again? To people. To ministry. To the Gospel.
Then I read the last words written about Paul ever.: Then he stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance….Acts 28:30-31. The Voice who spoke to Paul, through the blindness, began to fill him. Paul saw the beauty in becoming an offering.
If my life is to be emptied, it will be emptied for two things: people and the gospel. Those are eternal things. Right there. In my daily ordinary, I have eternity to think about. I will use every ounce of reserve to be poured out again and again for the proclamation of the gospel. Even in my own home – I can see eternity. I will be poured out on purpose for my littles and our God’s good news. I need not fear the hollow places, for in those empty spaces God fills me.
To feel (and be filled by) the Living Water. Letting the cool streams wash over my daily life again and again, I gladly offer myself. For in emptiness I find myself full. Full of life. Love. Strength and freedom. In Christ.
Every time I pour the milk and snap the lid back on. The little hands reaching for me mean I am being emptied, and in the sacrifice of myself, I find Him right beside me, filling me again. And again.
“I am ready to be offered.” It is a transaction of the will, not of sentiment….Tell God you are ready to be offered, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.” – Oswald Chambers
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