Sometimes we need to play out the drama in our lives discovering total insufficiency, where all that’s left is the stark reality of a truly empty spirit. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
How empty are you willing to be before you no longer persevere? For many, fear of total emptiness eliminates a willingness to explore those depths. For others the bottom of the well is where the greatest treasures are. I’m reminded of the story of Theodor Suess Geisel, Dr. Suess. His first book written in 1937, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, had been submitted to 24 different publishers and rejected by all. Not until the 25th did he find a publisher, Vanguard Press, for his book. He often recalled that he was pretty empty before he could be filled up again to write more books. You’ve probably been there before as have I. There is a fine line between dejection and insufficiency, but I think that God wants us to plumb those depths to discover it. He often has a divine purpose in bringing us to the bottom of the well to spiritual treasures that aren’t revealed without a draining away of ourselves.
Sometimes we need to play out the drama in our lives discovering total insufficiency, where all that’s left is the stark reality of a truly empty spirit. Suddenly God’s reality breaks through, and we’re shocked into spiritual receptivity.
Here’s a story. British novelist David Lodge, in the introduction to one of his books, tells where he was on the afternoon that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, He writes how he was in a theater watching the performance of a satirical revue he had helped write. In one particular sketch, a stage character demonstrated his nonchalance in an interview by holding a transistor radio to his ear while ignoring the stage interviewer speaking to him. As part of the play, the actor playing the part had always tuned in to a real broadcast that was airing at that particular time on the station he had the radio set to. The radio was set loud enough for the audience to hear it. As he held it up to his ear, suddenly came the announcement over the radio in a special announcement that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. Although the actor quickly switched it off, it was too late. Many in the audience had been informed of that terrible event through the unintended satire of the performance. (Sermon Illustrations.com.)
There is risk in discovering what lies beyond the comfort of the stage show we call daily living. It can be a real shocker when God peels away all the layers that we apply to our lives, day after day. Yet, this is what we often need, to find the spiritual awakening that God desires for each of us. The Apostle Peter had built a persona of courage, leadership and fidelity. Jesus peeled it away suddenly with his prophecy that Peter would not only lose courage, lay aside his leadership role, but also deny Jesus as his friend and teacher. Peter found the bottom of the well quickly within hours of that prediction. His insufficiency of self was revealed fully and God set to work revealing a new Peter. Peter, the playactor, became Peter the acting player in the birth of the early Christian church. It may be a long way down to the bottom of the well, but God has his hand on the bucket. He will raise us up if we are willing to descend past ourselves to the bottom.
We pray. Heavenly Father, it is often scary to know that emptiness isn’t the end of living but the beginning of living in Christ. We desire to be filled completely with living every day but at what cost? Will we ever find your true purpose for us spiritually if we never are willing to explore the depths of your will for us? Forgive us Lord when our fears get the better of us. We are in your hands knowing that at the bottom of our daily living is the greatest reward of eternal life. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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