Barren. Depleted. Void.
Dry. Unfilled. Empty.
Do any of those describe how you are feeling? Has your bucket of joy, peace, and faith been drained and now you’re looking for an answer, a refill?
You say to yourself, “What’s missing?”
So, you begin to search for that elusive “something” to fill up your bucket. You decide to go on vacation in search of “it.” Maybe “it” is in the soothing sands of the beach, with the ocean’s gentle waves lapping at the shore. But the remedy doesn’t work. When you return home, all the vacation drains out of your bucket. You’re still empty. “It” was not in the vacation.
Next, you buy a new car, thinking “it” will pump up your ego. But that does not fill your void. Your bucket is still empty. “It” was not in the car.
You purchase a new house to inflate your pride, but the house just cost you more money and didn’t fill your bucket. “It” was not in the house.
Then, you go after a higher paying job because you need more money. You think the power of your new job will appease your empty bucket. But now, you work late every night to pay off the car and the house you couldn’t afford, which only causes more problems in your marriage. Your bucket remains empty. Work was not “it.”
So, you begin to bar hop. All the drinks do not contain “it” until you meet a lovely young thing or a handsome young hunk. That pumps you up libido, for a while. But all the air escapes from your balloon one night when you come home from your tryst and find that all your family has moved out.
Then, the words of the old song hit you in the face, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” And your bucket seems even emptier. An affair was not “it.”
So, you find yourself upon your bed, in tears, wondering where it all began, where you went wrong. Reaching back into your memory box, you pull out the memory of you on your knees beside your bed, saying your prayers.
You slide off the bed and onto the floor, with knees popping and creaking from years of not bending. You bow your head and begin to sob as you seek the One True Answer…Jesus. The One you have so long ignored. The One you have been searching for and didn’t even know it. The One Who loves you more than anything, enough to die for you.
You pour out your heart to Him. He comes and kneels beside you, wrapping His loving arm around your heaving shoulders and whispers in your ear…
“What you needed was not to be found in your vacation, nor in your new car or new house, or all the other things you used as a substitute, for what you needed was My Love.
“I’ve been here all along, kneeling by your bedside, night after night, waiting for you to kneel and find Me once again. Now, you’ve recognized your need.
“Let’s get rid of all that stands in the way between us, separating us from that special companionship you so desperately need and I so desire to have with you. You have found your Answer. “It” is Me, the Lover of your soul. I am your dwelling place. Never leave My side again.”
You fall at His feet in praise and say as David did, “You have shown me the way of life, and You will fill me with the joy of Your presence.” (Acts 2:28 NLT quoted from Psalm 16:11)
Whatever you have been through or are going through right now, I pray that your bucket be filled and runneth over with faith, hope, joy, and love in Jesus.
Paul gives the Philippians this promise only after he has emphasized to them that he had found the Lord’s grace sufficient in good times and tough times, in times of plenty and in times of lack. The key to this promise is not just God’s provision, but also our trust upon him to satisfy what we most need in Christ Jesus. When our hearts yearn to be full of him, to be pleasing to him, to be blessed by his presence, to be given the assurance of life beyond death, surely we can rely on his supplying everything we truly need!
Give me eyes to see, O God, all the many wonderful ways you are providing for me and graciously providing the abundance you have poured into my life. I confess that my vision is shortsighted and narrow. I need to see the panoramic view of your graciousness. Yet the “little” part of your blessings that I am able to recognize is lavish, gracious, and fulfilling. I know you have blessed me with many more things that I do not see. Thank you for being so generous! In Jesus’ name! Amen.