My word last year was “Empty” and I wasn’t at all happy about it.
Years ago I was challenged to pray about a phrase or word that God would have me meditate on for the year…study and learn from it.
Last year I just couldn’t get away from it – “Empty.” I wanted a different word like, “Joy” or “Thankfulness.” Every time I closed my eyes, “Empty” sat heavy on my heart. Last year’s January, I had no idea how closely emptiness would follow me, making itself at home in my sadnesses.
Maybe you have also felt the tug of void in your life. What was once filled, now deserted. What once was occupied, now abandoned. Jobs lost, devastating illness, relationships crumbling, parents aging…
It is hard to let go of desires for which we have so diligently hoped.
I was lamenting that contemplating “Empty” was going to make for one depressing year.
“You are looking at it wrong, Child,” The Lord said, “Follow My lead.”
“Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus who…emptied Himself…humbled Himself…” Phil. 2:5,7,8.
“Have this attitude…emptied…humbled” – of His own volition.
If I let Him, Jesus would reveal and fill my empty places. He would provide me with the option to “empty myself.” Storm clouds and hope both loomed on the horizon. He does not always take the emptiness away, mind you, nor the circumstances. He sits with us in our emptiness. At least that is what He did with me this year.
He whispers to battered souls, “You are Mine…I have called you in righteousness…I will hold you by the hand…I will turn your mourning into joy…I will make beauty from ashes…”
He fills the emptiness with Himself.
The sweetest of miracles begins to happen as the Truth-teller overflows our souls.
A desire to “pour out” takes shape-lovingly formed.
In His hands, we are safe to empty our human-ness – to make room for the Holy.
We can empty fear of uncertainty because we have Someone firm to stand on. We pour out broken dreams because He whispers a new work we could never imagine.
We can empty and humble our hearts in broken relationships. He gives us strength and wisdom to speak only words that He would speak.
We can face what we do not want to face if we empty ourselves…because Our Rock, our Shield, our Defender, our Redeemer, our Deliverer, already knows what we are going to face. He is more than able to bring forth His image in us.
“Empty” – I hated that word last January. This January…it is ingrained in my heart and soul. I hear my LORD whisper, “Empty yourself, Child.”
It is a New Year. Maybe you, as well, have been given a word in which the Lord will shine His Light. I pray Truth and Strength in your journey. I pray He reveals things to you about yourself that both refine and encourage you. I pray you will “Follow His Lead.”
As for me, “Empty” has become a part of me – in a very good way… how perfect of Him to have given me that word last year knowing the challenges coming my way.
When He gave me my word for this year I smiled…and cried. I couldn’t have appreciated this year’s word without last year’s “Empty.”
My Word this year is a Name…JESUS. In all things…JESUS…How kind of Him to have emptied me last year to fill me this year.
About Debbie Maulsby
My name is Debbie Maulsby…and I am a grandson-aholic. I unashamedly pursue any chance to be within hugging distance of my four boys. When I absolutely have to let them get on with the business of going to school or taking naps…I race to my computer because, after my family, what I love most is words. I process life through writing. A famous author once said, “The idea is to write so that people read it, and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” I am forever grateful for the opportunity to share Him, so that He can go straight to someone’s heart. At times you will find me planting my flowerbeds, fishing at the family cabin, reading, or walking…but always the words pull me. Connect with me at www.DebbieMaulsby.com, or @DebbieMaulsby on Twitter. I can’t thank God enough for the opportunities He has given me to serve women through various Bible studies, leadership teams, and writing. And chocolate…I can’t thank Him enough for chocolate.