“I’m empty!” “I’m spent!” “I have no more energy!” “I’ve got nothing left to give!” These are some phrases we commonly say.
Perhaps, you’ve uttered one of these phrases in the last couple of weeks as you were reaching deep down to try and find some more energy for the holidays. Perhaps, this is what you thought to yourself when you looked at your bank account after all the gifts you bought. Maybe you’ve even felt empty when it come to your faith. For this new year, you set a resolution to get more involved in church and living out your faith. Yet, when you try, you just don’t seem to have the energy. At points when we’re empty, it’s tempting to just want to stop trying.
Thankfully, our relationship with God is not based on us having everything together or having plenty of energy. Our faith works out best, when we realize that we are empty. God comes to those of us who are empty.
I’m reminded of several events in 1 Kings with the prophet Elijah. He was a man that God raised up to call a wicked King and his wife, back to the covenant God had established with him. It’s a very difficult task. And often, it ends up that Elijah is empty and deals with others who have nothing left as well. In 1 Kings 17, a drought in the land has made it almost impossible for Elijah to eat. Yet, God comes and sends him the ravens to give him food. The next story deals with Elijah and a widow whose son has passed away. This widow has nothing left. She’s spent. There is no one left able to provide for her. Yet, God works through Elijah and he actually raises the widow’s son to life!
God works when we are empty and spent. Jesus reminds us that his grace is enough. His power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9). God comes to you when you are empty and sends Jesus to be your strength. He becomes the king that none in Israel could ever be, as he through his work, brings you back to your father. He forgives you and gives you new life! Through Jesus you are no longer empty, but full of God’s life.
So, this new year’s, it’s okay to feel empty. But, as you are empty, come to the cross. Come to worship. Receive the goodness that Jesus gives you. Let Jesus take your strife and pain and leave forgiven and full.
God’s Peace, Pastor Mark