Monday, October 18, 2010

What Fills Up the Empty

There is a desert place where emotions barely stir in dry, stagnant emptiness.

This howling wasteland was found on the other side of the high mountain places of my heart where storms rage freely, pouring out deep waters of expression, agony, joy and relief.

This is a stilled place, still enough to look around and recognize the empty. There is nothing as far as my eyes can see except for dust and ashes settling cold that make the space feel even more void and wanting.

Was this part of my soul always barren? Did these fearful questions I can't even whisper always swirl dry and aching just beyond the lush mountains?

He has lead me here, as he has before, to a place hot under my feet and painfully bright for my uncovered eyes, standing bare before the Son. Just me and Him.

Is my hope found in Him alone? Is He alone enough for me? Will I follow wherever He leads, trust whatever He decides? Do I trust Him with my children, husband, family? Do I believe that He is good, even when He allows pain, suffering, death?

It is not a fear of my own death, but rather a painfully fresh recognition of how much I have, and how much I could possibly lose.

I think about Audrey Caroline's story and my children, I think about how both my father's parents are now home with Christ, and that unless untimely death happens, he and my mom are in the next generation to leave this world.

I think about this too:

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;"

I want to be worthy of Him. I want His perfect love to cast out this fear of loss, of emptiness.

I can not hold onto the people I want to cling to, naked I came into the world, and naked I will leave it. What good will worrying do? I know that worrying will not even add a single hour to anyone's life.

But still fear grips my throat. It aches in my gut. I wouldn't speak it out loud, but it's there.

I think about Job. What if I lost everything I hold dear in this life? Would I still love Him?

I think about other Bible stories. I know "righteousness" does not protect from horrible pain, suffering, death.

I think about Jesus.

I think about Jesus for a long time.

The One and Only who never sinned and yet suffered and died... why?

"When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
~1 Peter 2:23-25

He says healing me was worth it. He says my return to Him was worth it.

I look around, over my shoulder. There is no one in this empty but me. Me. He means me.

I take off my sandals on this holy ground. Kneel and raise my hands, stretching high and fingers spread wide.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all...

In all this empty, there is nothing to interfere with the praise He is so worthy of.

The Lord who inhabits the praises of His people fills all my empty.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious Day,
Up from the grave He rose again.

And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand.

Counting thanks today for the fullness of His grace, goodness, and mercy...

#83 That the husband was given bereavement leave from work this week

#84 the whole family will be able to attend Grandmom's funeral

#85 that I have a dear friend who is covering work for me so I can have the entire day for family time

#86 we all have peace knowing she is with Him

#87 smiles and hugs from my children

#88 crazy cats that bring laughter, easing the ache in the air

#89 that He grants sleep as a gift of love

#90 25 years with Grandmom

#91 Being blessed to have her in our home in her last days, being able to sit and hold her hand

#92 Aunt Carmen

#93 Dad

#94 Mom

#95 Jesus

#96 the gift that praise and thanks is to me

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the LORD say this—

those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

those he gathered from the lands,

from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands,

finding no way to a city where they could settle.

They were hungry and thirsty,

and their lives ebbed away.

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress...

He sent forth his word and healed them;

he rescued them from the grave.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for men.

Let them sacrifice thank offerings

and tell of his works with songs of joy.

~from Psalm 107

holy experience

1 comment:

Misty said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful peice of your heart. I have often asked myself the same what if questions while thinking of Job.

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