Running away from emptiness is something our culture does very well.
When our stomach’s growl, we immediately find something to prevent a “hangry” outburst. In empty moments during the day, we instinctively grab our phones to fill pockets of time with what’s new in our ‘social’ circle. When we feel void of meaning and purpose, we quickly look to our jobs, friends, spouses, children, or even minstries to give us fulfillment and satisfaction.
But there comes a point in our lives when those once frequented sources of fulfillment don’t work anymore. We suddenly find ourselves right in the epi-center of emptiness. The true kind of emptiness where you can’t muster up your own joy, ambition or contentment no matter how hard you try. Ever been there?
In this place of emptiness, there are two options:
1. RUUNNN AWAAY.
2. Embrace it.
A Better Way
Being in a state of emptiness often means you are dependent on something or someone else. In our culture, dependency is seen as a sign of weakness because we pride ourselves on being self sufficient and independent.
But then I think about God’s kingdom–His upside down, backwards kingdom where dependency isn’t a thing to be pitied. It’s actually the avenue to the fullest life. Emptiness causes us to be dependent on the Lord for His resources. In return, our deepest needs collide with His goodness. What if emptiness is the means to the end of our striving and gives us divine opportunity to be truly whole?
Emptiness as a Blessing
A perfect example of the beauty of emptiness is found in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. Check out this list of people who Jesus says are blessed:
The poor in Spirit. (5:3)
Those who mourn. (5:4)
The humble and meek. (5:5)
Those who hunger and thirst for justice. (5:7)
This list is a grade A example of empty, needy and vulnerable people. Why would Jesus use this category of folks to recieve His richest blessings?
Perhaps because those who admit their need to God have open hands and open hearts to recieve the blessings that come from His hand. When our hands are full of our own resources, we likely won't seek His. Click To Tweet
In this passage, these same needy people recieve:
The kingdom of Heaven (5:3)
The Earth (5:5)
Come and Be Filled
This introduction to the Sermon on the Mount is a call right off the bat for all of those who are empty to come to Him and be truly filled up.
Emptiness isn’t a dead end, but an avenue for true fullness.
Emptiness isn’t a sentence of destitution. Rather, it’s an invitation to be wholly dependent on the God who satisfies fully and completely.
Emptiness isn’t something to be avoided, but rather embraced.
The greatest example of the beauty of emptiness was on the fateful day of Jesus’ ressurection. When we are tempted to resent our emptiness, remember that the empty tomb gave way for us to have the fullest life possible. It took the Son emptying His own will into the hands of the Father so that we would have the chance to know what it really means to be full, whole, and complete.
Though our natural tendency is to run from emptiness, let’s face it head on, knowing that it is only when we are emptied of ourselves, that we can recieve the FULLNESS of who HE is.