either way that’s how I feel – I’m a walking paradox . . . I am like my car, running on empty much of the time. (seems like my gas light is always on) Why am I feeling so empty? Maybe it’s more than my gas tank that is empty. My refrigerator is empty, my calendar is empty, my bank account too close to empty for comfort, my nest is empty. (probably why the fridge is empty now) There are empty spaces in my heart where people used to be.
Even as I was experiencing this emptiness I was aware of how fully full I felt at the exact same time. This seems more than a paradox, this would realistically seem to be impossible. I cannot be both empty and full at the same time. Can I? and yet that is my reality.
Psalm 103:5 tells me, “He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”
Ephesians 1:22-23 explains, “And God placed all things under His (Jesus’) feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.”
Yes, Jesus fills everything and everyone, including me, with good things because He is good. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
When life has me running on empty I am more open to receiving and able to receive what my Heavenly Father wants to give me. The more room I make for Him by emptying myself of other things – the more He will fill me with His good gifts and with His best gift, the gift of His Holy Spirit.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)
Emptiness that leads to fullness. That is the paradox. That is the gospel truth. (yes, pun on purpose!) When I am empty of self and striving and selfish desires, I can be, indeed I am, filled with His presence, His power and His purpose – all of which fill me to overflowing, even while my circumstances remain empty of many visible, therefore temporary things.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Jesus’ tomb was found to be empty, His body was not there. The emptiness of that tomb was full – full of victory, full of power to overcome death, full of hope, full of life, full of a long-ago promise kept, full of a long-ago prophesy now fulfilled, full of faithfulness, full of forgiveness, full of mercy, full of the ultimate, eternal, everlasting love of the Creator for His creation, those He created in His own image.
The emptiness of Christ’s tomb was filled with the fullness of the Heavenly Father’s love for His children. The emptiness of my soul is filled with His gift of His Holy Spirit, His abiding presence, never leaving nor forsaking me. If I am full of myself or full of what the world would give to me, I have no room to receive my Heavenly Father’s presence or gifts. When I am most empty, it is then that I discover how full He has filled my life, how full He has filled me. When I am most empty – it is then I am most full – full and overflowing. I truly am fully empty and emptily full.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
sincerely, Grace Day