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Emptying

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Discouraged and tired. Those words describe how I feel these days more than I would like. I  still remember the words of one pastor many years ago who told me that through my suffering I will know God’s love more than most. I’ve referred to this conversation many times on this blog. And each time I feel the need to qualify the “than most” part as I’m not sure I agree with that part of the statement. Still, I feel utterly loved by God and I love God. Each morning, the celtic daily prayer liturgy asks do you serve God with your whole heart? mind? soul? strength? Sometimes it is an enthusiastic yes. Other times it is a weary nod offering not much strength, soul, mind or heart but offering all I have.

Now that I have experienced God’s love that penetrates my soul and gives me life and hope and meaning, I am not satisfied with a half-hearted striving to follow God. There’s a song that for the life of me I can’t think of the rest of the words, but there’s a line that says “demands my life, my soul, my all” or something like that. Another part of the liturgy of morning prayer is – “to whom shall I go? you have the words of eternal life and we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” This I know is true with all my heart.

But this road is not easy.

And quickly, I get discouraged and weary.

Yesterday’s meditation in the Celtic Daily prayer by Arthur Burt has stuck in my mind:

The Christian life is not hard to live – it’s utterly impossible to live! Only One can live it! Let Him! in you.

I cannot begin to tell you how encouraging these words have been to me. Encouraging because I feel like this road is impossible – it is lonely, filled with struggles and opposition from others. It’s encouraging to know that I am not alone in my struggle to follow Christ with my whole heart, mind, soul and mind. I am not alone in my discouragement or even my weariness.

But it is also challenging – for I cannot and am not meant to walk this road by myself.

It’s lent. And people are talking about giving stuff up. I haven’t found too many meaningful things to give up. But today it hit me – I need to give up myself. I need to empty myself before God to allow him to fill me.

I need him to fill my life with HIS strength, energy, passion, heart.

But I also need to make room.

So this lenten season, I will strive on emptying my life before God. I’m guessing this is not going to be an easy process for there are things I cling to. Pruning is painful. But this is how growth and surrender happens.

This Christian walk is utterly impossible on my own. Dear Christ, fill me so that I may walk it.

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  1. Esther
    February 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

    A beautiful thought – for several years running, I’ve tried to give up self-centredness for Lent, and I think it’s harder than physical disciplines!
    The hymn you quoted is a very familiar one for me:

    When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.

    Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.

    See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

    Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

  2. March 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    “It’s lent. And people are talking about giving stuff up. I haven’t found too many meaningful things to give up. But today it hit me – I need to give up myself. I need to empty myself before God to allow him to fill me.”—Like!

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