I stepped onto the wood floor of my bedroom moments after waking. The morning followed a fitful night with intruding dreams. Getting out of bed was my first act of warfare against the strong urge to remain in the sheets.
I padded to the back yard with a steamy cup of coffee in my hand and a pulsing ache in my chest for the presence of God.
The sun hadn’t yet risen but I basked in the golden pink light that poured over me and whispered a simple prayer:
“LORD! I need you.” (because I am empty)
I sat in the hush of morning stillness and gave thanks for the sweet and gentle breeze that kissed my bare arms–received as nothing less than my Father’s hug. It brought an appreciative smile to my face.
Again I spoke out softly:
“LORD! I need you.” (because I am lonely)
I let my eyes rest on the beauty that surrounded me. I listened to the song of birds and neighborhood sprinklers clap and spray. I gave thanks for the tranquil magnificence of His creation and determined not to let the gift of this moment go unnoticed.
“LORD! I need you.” (because I’m conflicted)
I opened my bible to Ephesians and began reading in chapter 1: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Grace. And peace.
The sun continued to rise uninterrupted and unchanged, as it had since the beginning of time when God first formed it and declared it’s purpose. I tapped off those two monosyllabic words in my head like a cadence for the day. Grace and peace. Grace and peace. Grace and peace.
The rhythm of their sound was as the march of foot soldiers–routing lies hidden among the careless words spoken by others, the thoughtless actions and unkindnesses born of human imperfection. These declared reasons to fear and dread and cower; unfurling their assertions that I am irrevocably flawed and unable to belong.
I sat in the morning calm with my face lifted to God; Paul’s letter splayed on my knees.
What happens when you lose what this world said was yours?
What does it mean when others reject you but can’t give you a reason why?
What happens to your tired soul when the pursuit of significance can’t be found in what you do? Or in who acknowledges your worth–because they rarely do.
What happens when you sit in the thin place between I’ll never be enough and All that I am is His?
I placed all these in the empty hands that now rested upturned on my lap. I acknowledged the sin of my self-effort, I admitted the insufficiency of my self-sufficiency. I sat with this emptiness as one sits with grief–early forms of acceptance taking shape.
Paul’s letter continued.
“…The fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
God’s words: reminders of truth, encouragers of faith and declarations of promise!
As His words filled the empty expanses with creation: the sun, moon and stars; the earth with land and seas, vegetation and humans–so His words fill all the empty and formless places still. In me. In my relationships. In my purpose. In my desire that my life have significance.
I allow the vastness of grace and peace, more limitless than the expansive, immeasurable and ever growing universe, become the framework of this day.
I let Him who fills the empty, fill me.
And suddenly, I think I see something. Undistinguishable at first as an object off in the horizon. But like the dawning day, it becomes clearer. It approaches and I sit up straighter, my breathing shallows my heart quickens.
And there it is. I see it in the clarity of morning light:
“With His F U L L N E S S, He fills all.” -Eph. 1:23
There is no place where His glory is not seen, no life where His grace is not sufficient, no words that surpass the creative power of His intensions for us.
So I offer my emptiness, not as something representing the lack of but as a vessel ready for His filling.