As I’ve become more unwell I’ve gone from having a fairly busy life to a very quiet one. There are lots of things I’d like to do to fill my time and my mind but my body simply won’t allow it. I used to enjoy my job, my friends and my ability to go out and do what I liked. All those things form a part of our identities. And when they are stripped away, I feel as if there is nothing left.
Emptiness is a feeling to which I’ve become accustomed. I often sit in my living room wondering what I’m meant to be doing. What is the point of all this? The BBC adaptation of ‘Wives and Daughters’ has one of my favourite quotes: “I try to say ‘God’s will be done’ but it’s harder to be resigned than happy people think.”
It’s ok to feel empty. It’s not pleasant. It’s not the way things should be. But it’s not necessarily sinful. The important thing is to remember and believe that you won’t stay empty. Our God is not a God of emptiness. He’s not a God of vacuums. He’s a God of cups that overflow and life lived to the full.
You may be looking toward this Christmas with a sadness or an emptiness. But know this: Jesus came down to earth, he emptied himself, he became nothing so that we don’t have to stay empty and so that we can be somebody. I don’t know when and I don’t know how but I can promise you that if you give God your emptiness He will fill you up in ways you’ve never dreamed. And if you give God your feeling of insignificance He will remind you that He loved you so much He sent His beloved Son so that you could bear the very name of Christ.
Emptiness is not the end. It may be part of our story but we have been given this emptiness so that when we are filled, we will know Love more deeply than ever before.
Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself,
taking the form of a bond-servant,
and being made in the likeness of men.
Being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him,
and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:6-11 (NASB)