Monday, December 29, 2008

Empty


I've been doing some reflecting on the past year and all that God has done for me. There is so much to thank Him for. This has been such a difficult and painful year in many, many ways. Yet it's also been incredibly beautiful and amazing as I've seen the Lord take care of me and hold me through everything.

It's been a year of paradox, everything upside down. Acceptance in the middle of rejection, joy in the middle of sadness and grief, beauty out of desolation, abundance in the midst of poverty. I have been very blessed in so many ways that really matter.

But there are times I wake up in the morning and I find myself empty, with a restless longing for something more. I don't always recognize this deep need in myself; it usually takes a while. After attempting to satisfy this heart hunger with entertainment, other people, chocolate, even spiritual activities, or trying to distract myself with new ideas, work, housecleaning, facebook, whatever -- I find myself just getting frustrated and the longing has only intensified.

I've even found myself thinking that if my husband's heart changes and he returns to us, then I will be satisfied and have my heart's desire. Or someday when I'm doing what I was created for and fulfilling my purpose in life, then I will be filled up. I just have to wait for those things. But the honest truth is that I will still be hungry and empty even then.

What I'm realizing is that this deep need is my heart's longing for God. He has done so much for me and shown me so much of His love for me, especially this past year, that I would have thought that would be enough. But I'm discovering that it's not. I need more.

I was created empty. That is my supreme offering to the Lord -- me, with all my lack, my failure, my inability, my weakness, my empty heart. I'm seeing that it is His great joy and pleasure to fill me with Himself. That's what He's been waiting for. And maybe the truth is that this inner restless longing is simply His gift to draw me into a deeper intimacy than I can imagine. And I will find that when I have Him, I have everything.

So I wait -- empty and thankful for it, trusting Him to fill me and satisfy me when He wants to and in His good time.

"Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14


3 comments:

Shilo said...

Boy, you put that into words so beautifully. Thanks for sharing!
Blessings,
Shilo

Ellie said...

I think this may be it. There are times over the last few years, and it is often when things are going well, that I get this deep longing.

I've sensed at times that it is a pulling to seek God more, to want more of Him. At times, I even get irritated with it. I'm upset thinking, "why now? Why when things are so good? Why can't I just sit back and relax and enjoy the good?" The longing is almost painful, miserable.

I'm struggling also with my church, finding myself growing uncomfortable with the confines of a very conservative church. Solid. Great place. But missing something. Missing worship. Missing any acknowledgment of God's Spirit. As if He does not exist; He is a taboo subject. It is by effort we live, not by any power or guidance. I sat in church on Sunday and listened to a whole sermon on encouragement and power to live through difficult time, and not once, not even once was the Spirit mentioned or even hinted at....

These things create a longing in me... longing to worship in a group... longing to pray with people who believe God works... longing to hear that it is not all my "spiritual muscle" that sees me through, but God's living, real presence in my life as my teacher, strengthener, guide.

Thanks for writing this, for telling me that I am not going nuts. :)

Becky Aguirre said...

Oh, I absolutely LOVE that song by Casting Crowns! I'm glad you added it...

You are definitely describing me and my experiences...and you write is so beautifully! That is IT. So often I do turn to something other than God to fill that longing and it just drains me even more. I am longing for the day when I will be completely satisfied and all emptiness filled as I enjoy His presence in glory for eternity. And I think that's where I'm supposed to be, longing for His coming and turning my face towards Him while I wait...

and no, Ellie, you are definitely NOT going nuts...LOL