When I was in my 40s, my nest was suddenly empty. Having only one child means one day the nest is full and the next day it’s empty. Travis went away to college, leaving Sweet William and me to bump around the house alone.
The Lord in His graciousness, knowing how my heart was, filled me up with a group of young people where we attended church. They became a drama team. We began to work on skits and pantomimes, performing at church services, our own and others. We even traveled to Michigan where we put on a workshop for the youth there and performed several times during the weekend.
It was great fun and a lot of trial and error. The kids could drive me absolutely up the wall sometimes. But most of the time, I was so proud of their efforts and their sincerity as they portrayed Bible scenes or humorous skits, all with the purpose of glorifying the Lord. I so prayed the truth they acted out would take root in their hearts and draw them closer to Jesus.
One of the songs they performed was called Broken and Spilled Out by Gloria Gather. It was made popular by singer Steve Green. The song tells the story of the woman who brought her precious ointment and poured it out on Jesus feet. The fragrance of the perfume touched the senses of all who were witness to her loving deed that day. Jesus commended her for her act of love.
I’ve been humming that song a lot lately. It think it must be because I’ve felt broken and spilled out in the last several weeks.
I know I’ve been broken because the tears keep spilling out.
Sweet William and I have been through some trauma together. Recently, it has taken more out of me than I had in reserve.
I’ve given this some thought, and have come to the conclusion that being emptied out can be exceedingly unpleasant. There is still so much of my self-will left in me. My flesh and my spirit do battle quite often.
As Paul said in Romans 7, “I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.” (The Message)
There are times I think to myself, “O wretched woman that I am! Who will deliver me from myself?”
The answer, of course, is Jesus who took all my punishment for my past, present and future sins. Thanks be to God for the victory He won on the cross!
I am so thankful for the promise that though I am faithless, He remains Faithful!
I am often struck by the profound thought that God never gives up on me, no matter how long it takes. He is the Potter who is committed to conforming me into the image of Jesus, molding, squeezing, remaking, so that I will reflect Him more and more in my motives, thoughts and actions. I often think He surely must be getting tired of me by now.
How many times have I prayed, “Lord, I want to do your will.” Or “”Make me more like Jesus.” Or “If you can use anything, Lord, You can use me.” I’m finding out He takes those kind of prayers seriously and begins to make it happen. It can be a painful process.
Giving up my own agenda, my own wants and desires, my own will can be likened to the woman who gave her most precious possession. You see, my self-will is pretty important to me. It can become my most treasured possession.
Sometimes life takes a turn toward hard and uncertain days or weeks, even years. It becomes God’s means of molding me, even breaking me if necessary. I am His project and He will not give up.
The wonder of this brokenness is that it results in more room for the Spirit to fill me up with Himself. Empty of myself, I can be full of Jesus. Perhaps it is the way to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ (I Corinthians 2:14).
Ah, now that is a beautiful thought. It makes being emptied out a transforming and beautiful process. It means I’m growing, I’m becoming, I’m on my way to reflecting the image of my Savior more and more.
There isn’t anything else that is more important than that.
Have you been broken and spilled out? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.