Have you taken stock recently of what you believe is missing from your life? I ask, because whether we realize it or not, we all seem to criticize what we don’t have or what we feel we need to find real happiness. It’s as if there’s some emptiness inside of us all, waiting to be filled. We can fill it with good things like the love of family, acts of philanthropy, and contentment. Or, we can fill that void with the sinful things of this world such as materialism, drug and alcohol abuse, or an unhealthy pride in our own achievements.
Feeling empty is actually a great place to be though. When we’re empty, God can fill us with the good things he has in store for us. His word, the Bible, is full of his promises of grace, hope, patience, love, joy, and peace that are all offered to fill the emptiness we experience in this life at times. It is God that desires to fill us, to complete us with himself. A great analogy of this is found in 2 Kings chapter 4.
Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2 And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” 5 So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. 6 When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
(2 Kings 4:1-7)
The story of the widow’s oil is a great example of the provision that God provides for us when we’re running on empty. Like the widow, we have nowhere to turn except to God when we’re out of options. We also see this play out with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:1-26. In that story, the woman has attempted to fill her emptiness with many illicit marriages and relationships. And yet, when Jesus offers her the truth of who he is, she is filled with a new hope and love that she’s never experienced before. She came to the well looking to fill jars with water and instead was filled with the knowledge of the Son of God.
The disappointing thing is, we sometimes believe we’re already filled. We’ve convinced ourselves, through the accumulation of stuff and achievements, that we have all we’ll ever need. There’s no room for God. This is exactly what happened to the rich young ruler in Matthew 19: 16-24. He couldn’t follow Jesus because he had so filled his life with money that there was no room left for God.
The next time you have the opportunity, empty yourself of the things of this world and make room for God. Pray for him to show you the wonderful things he has in store for those who give their lives to him.
Come and be filled.