Thursday, June 28, 2007

Being Filled..

As most of you know, the Lord currently has me stuck smack-dab in what is one of the hottest places in America. I wonder if the weather forecasters ever get bored working in Phoenix. You know those little hooks that they say to keep you tuned in to their station...things like, "Is the hot weather going to hold? I'll have the forecast coming up in just a few minutes!" And you think "DUH!!" in your head, even as you "stay tuned" to hear the forecaster give you the predictable summer forecast of 10,000 degree weather. (sorry to sound so caustic...being baked at 112 degrees for two weeks running makes me a little cranky) I think the weathermen (or women..:) hold out for what is called the "monsoon" season - a wet couple of weeks/months where Phoenix finally starts to see some of the wet stuff actually hit the ground.
Until the rains come though, many previously filled streams in the Phoenix area simply dry up.
The tell-tale signs of a packed dirt cracking under the sun can be seen in washes around the Valley. They are more than a little depressing to behold - hollowed out pieces of earth empty and devoid of water. EMPTY.
The Lord has been speaking to me a lot lately about what it means to be filled up with Him. And how I can get that idea across to myself - not only spiritually, but emotionally as well. I could make this the Stacy-climbs-on-her-soapbox and declares the three spiritual truths to being filled, but I don't have a soapbox......and really, why a soapbox...when a five point sound system connected to a REALLY SNAZZY power-point presentation with loads of TOTALLY ROCKIN' clip art would work much better :)
So, no presentations. Instead, let me open up my heart to you for just a minute. I can tell you that the closer I get to HIM, the more I am able to recognize when I'm running on empty. When I'm feeling empty, I often start looking to other people to "fill me up". The end result? People, intentionally or not, often let me down. Ever been in a room filled to the brim with your friends and still felt alone..empty? I have.
Or, instead of people, I start looking to other things to fill me up. Things like stories in books, television programs, or shopping trips. The end result? If I'm using these things to try to fill myself (instead of just for enjoyment/relaxation), then it's like trying to fill a river with a dropper. The enjoyment is not enough to "fill" me.
Water - and imagery involving water, is everywhere in God's Book. I went to http://www.blueletterbible.com/ and looked up every reference to water. It occurs 460 times! Some of you will be familiar with the story in John 4 where Jesus refers to himself as living water. John 4:14 states - "But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (NKJV)" Those of us who have made the choice to be Christ-followers never have to worry about that part of our spirit going dry. We have everlasting life...it springs up in us.
The type of empty I'm talking about comes from not drawing from that living water on a daily basis - allowing that living water to heal us, sustain us, and overflow from our lives into the lives of others around us.
So, if we are feeling dry, where do we start? With Him.
Psalm 107: 35 says "He turns a wilderness into pools of water, And dry land into watersprings. (NKJV)" God can make something out of nothing, or in this case, bring water where only emptiness existed before. We can turn to His word with the expectation that He will use it to speak to our thirsty hearts. God promises this -
Isa 55:10-12 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hill shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Wow! Isn't that awesome! Think of it this way. When you sit down to read the Word, the God of heaven and earth sits down beside you, with His arm wrapped around you, and uses the Holy Spirit to speak truth to your life - specifically your life, your circumstances, etc. And that water reaches down to your soul, begging you to dig your roots into Him and His word. As you do, God promises this - Jeremiah 17:8 "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. (NKJV)"
Another way to fill yourself up is to daily be in prayer. Talk with God like a child talks to their Daddy, delight yourself in all of His creation, praise Him for all he's done, and rest in His grace. Also, pour out your fears, cry your tears of dissapointment, and give him your angry words. Basically- give it ALL to Him. Psalm 68:19 says "Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. (NLT)" Choose to let go and climb up into His arms.
So, my encouragment? Don't run around on empty. Don't run from the grace, peace, joy and love this is available to fill you up and fill all of the empty places within you. I'd like to end with two things. One is a poem that I wrote many years ago, on a dark night when it was, strangely enough, actually pouring down rain in Phoenix. The second is Steven Curtis Chapman's song Dive. My prayer is that you will go deep with God - and come up soaking wet!

Rain
Falling freely
Pours over my face
My lips, my eyes
My nose, my chin
Bathing my shoulders
My arms, my hands, my fingertips
Drenching wet
Shaking
Praying
Praising
The rain is the grace of my God
And I am getting wet


1 comment:

Tracy said...

Wow! What a cool video that someone helped you put on!! Seriously..this post spoke to me since I have been feeling dry this week (well many weeks if truth be told) So thank you for bringing some perspective my way! Love U.