Free Printable for You
Once upon a time ago, I asked you to vote on your favorite quotes from two posts celebrating two years of blogging here at Look Up Sometimes. I tallied your responses, created a printable, and FINALLY, I’m sharing it with you! You’ll also find it on the Free Tools page so you can come back anytime to download/print it.
Download the PDF version of “It’s Ok to Be Empty” by clicking this link.
(If you are a subscriber and forgot your password, contact me and I’m happy to send you another one. If you’re not a subscriber and would like access to the Free Tools page, subscribe in the side bar!)
How It Started
It started as a comment. Then someone suggested the comment get made into a blog post (just a fancy phrase for the writing you read on a website). And who better to do that than the person who commented in the first place, I thought? So I invited Debbie Scales to come back as a guest author again for Look Up Sometimes and share her thoughts on “empty.” What she wrote really struck a chord and is inspiring me to do my own digging into this concept. May you be blessed by the beautiful truths Debbie shares!
The first Thanksgiving dinner our family shared after my father-in-law passed away was stressful and sad. No one wanted to sit in the chair he had always occupied at the head of the table. That empty chair was the loudest thing in the room.
A special kind of emptiness hangs over those who lose loved ones. No other loss cuts so deeply.
It is this kind of emptiness we read about in the book of Ruth.
The story begins with Naomi living with her husband and two sons in Bethlehem. Because of a famine, this family moved to live for a time in Moab. Within ten years, Naomi’s husband and two sons died. Three empty chairs.
Later, when she returned to her people in Bethlehem, Naomi said, “The Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:20-21).
Each of us who has lost someone we love can relate to Naomi’s lament. Such emptiness is profound. We believe we will never be the same, for part of us has passed too.
A different kind of emptiness exists when fulfillment has never been achieved: A love never shared; a womb, hollow as an echo.
That was the emptiness experienced by Sarah, wife of Abraham. She remained childless decade after decade. Endless months of normal menstrual cycles, and then menopause!
Childless Sarah: A candle unlit. A rosebud unopened.
What can God do with emptiness?
[bctt tweet=”It is from emptiness that God does some of His greatest work. ~Debbie Scales” username=”PearlNAllard”]
Genesis 1:2 reads, “Now the earth was formless and empty.”
Into that great emptiness God spoke sunshine and flowers, animals and fish, people and planets and everything necessary to sustain these things. He gave each a place and a purpose and enabled each to fill its place and fulfill its purpose.
Within that marvelous universe, God continued (and continues) to use empty people and things to fulfill His purposes.
God used an empty well to play a role in transporting Joseph to Egypt, where he was able to save God’s people from starvation (Genesis 6-50).
He used empty jars in the hands of Gideon’s soldiers to bring about a miraculous triumph over the Midianites (Judges 7:1-25).
God filled empty pots with oil, so a widow could save her sons from being sold to creditors as slaves (2 Kings 4:1-7).
During Christ’s ministry, he filled the empty nets of fishermen, empty stomachs of crowds-people, empty wine jars for thirsty wedding guests, and the empty hearts of both a disliked tax collector and a woman taken in adultery. He even caused a coin to be found inside the empty mouth of a fish!
In fact, God’s greatest work of all was accomplished through an empty tomb.
[bctt tweet=”Emptiness is no obstacle to God. It never thwarts His purposes. It doesn’t cause Him to change His mind or make new plans. ~Debbie Scales” username=”PearlNAllard”]
What an amazing and powerful God we serve! Just as He ultimately brought forth wonders from Naomi’s and Sarah’s emptiness, we know He can do the same with ours.
Our task is twofold: trust and wait. How we resist taking that route when we feel empty! We want to despair, or to take matters into our own hands and do the equivalent of shuffling off our husbands to handmaidens, so God can accomplish what He promised He would do!
Romans 8:28 reads: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We must trust Him and wait for Him to work for our good, even through our emptiness.
After devoting years to working and childrearing, Debbie now spends her time indulging not only her grandchildren but also her passion for writing. Her articles, poems, and devotionals have appeared in various Christian publications (Christian Woman and Power for Today). Debbie is a member of Heartland Christian Writers. She lives with her husband Dan in Central Indiana. You can visit her website at www.thehappygeranium.com.