Fads come and go. What was in this year will be gone next month and what was cool this year will be considered out-of-date in the near future; we are a culture of change. We love to get in on the latest “thing” that will make us better, stronger, skinnier, smarter, richer, more successful, more desireable…and the list never ends. We say that 40 is the new 30, 50 is the new 40, what was old yesterday is young today, etc. But absolutely none of this is really true; 30 is 30, 40 is 40, 50 is 50…period. The key lies in how we view our lives. But have you ever been to the place where empty is the new full?
At a glance, most people would say they don’t like the experience of emptiness. Emptiness can come at the loss of a job, death of a loved one, divorce, when a child leaves home, when you move to a new city…and this list, too, never ends. There are countless experiences in life which can create a void in our souls; an emptiness that hurts. But in the midst of that emptiness God breathes hope.
While reading Eugene Peterson’s book, The Pastor, I was enlightened to something I hadn’t thought a great deal about before. When Moses was commanded to make the ark of the covenant, where he was to meet with God, the design was one of emptiness. The top of the ark was called the Mercy Seat and it was the place where God would show up. The top of this ark was flanked with two cherubim with their wings outstretched towards each other seemingly protecting the empty space from being filled with anything but God himself. Fast-forward to the the resurrection of Christ and, there again, were two angels who gave witness to another empty space: the tomb where Jesus was laid. God reserved an empty space to meet with one man and then created an empty space to change all of mankind who would accept his gift of emptiness. For it is in the wake of Christ’s empty cross and empty tomb that the fullness of life can truly be found.
As we experience emptiness caused by what we see as unfortunate and sometimes catastrophic events in our lives, may we be reminded that God uses emptiness to purge us, to mold us, to re-create us and to save us. In a day and age where we run to fill every crevice of our lives with something that will make us more significant, may we embrace the emptiness that life brings and give it over to the Father who loves us. He desperately wants your life to be fuller than you could ever imagine it to be. What are you doing with the emptiness in your life? Do you see God in the midst of it? Ask him to fill the void and wait for Him to move. #embracetheemptyspaces