Tired or Empty? Let God Fill You!

I’m with a group of people praying and worshiping. It’s a peaceful, yet urgent time of getting in tune with God. If you remember the old transistor radios, it’s like dialing the knob to just the right frequency. When the music is coming in loud and clear, you’ve found the sweet spot. The prayers are powerful and meaningful. They’re coming in strong. The worship even more so.

In the midst of all of this I see a Styrofoam cup on the floor next to me. No one is sitting close to me, so the cup has been there at least a little while. I’m still singing and worshiping, but I keep thinking about that empty cup. Should I throw it away? I didn’t use the cup. I didn’t put it there. It’s not really my responsibility. Why should I have to pick it up? But it’s next to me. Others might think it’s my cup.

But if I don’t throw it away, who will? Why should someone else have to pick it up when I’m so close?

All the time I’m having this internal debate about this empty cup we’re singing a song with the refrain, “Fill me up, God.” How ironic. I’m asking God to fill me up with his love and I won’t even pick up an empty cup off the floor. Sometimes I’m so disappointed in myself. Yet, I pray that God will show me areas in which I need to change, so when he does point out an area why do I immediately defend myself with excuses? With expert cunning and agility, I deflect by bringing up other topics like, “Well, what about the person who left this cup behind? Why didn’t they throw it away?”

Or, “I know I have these character flaws, Lord. But wasn’t I just born that way? Can I really change?” All of this must seem like such silliness to God. Like the protests of a small child. “I can’t finish my homework now because it’s dark outside.” Or, “I can’t clean my room because it’s Tuesday.” I didn’t know that homework can be done after dark or that room cleaning can be done on Tuesdays.

And I think of what Jesus says to Martha. “’Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed–or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:41-42).

What did Mary do? She sat at the feet of Jesus and soaked in his presence. Did she worry about the dirty dishes? Did she busy herself with all the things that Martha thought needed to be done? Did she obsess about an empty cup near her feet? No. She sat at the feet of Jesus and soaked in his presence. Ah, what could be better than that? What could be more important than that? What could possibly matter more?

What if the person who left the empty cup behind was so filled up with the presence of God that they left without remembering the cup?

What if we are like the cup? What if we as believers become so filled up with God’s love that his love overflows and we are emptied out of us so that God can fill us up with him? “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).

An empty cup has the possibility of being filled.

So as I’m picking up the Styrofoam cup off the floor I’m thinking, “Fill me up, Lord. Empty me out of me and fill me up with you. Because when it’s just me, it’s lonely. When it’s just me, I’m not being filled at all. When it’s just me, I’m so empty. So lost. So alone. So childishly silly. But with you, Lord, filling me up, I overflow with your love. And when I overflow with your love, then your love spills out onto others. Spilling your love onto others is a wonderful job for a former empty cup.”

I pick up the empty cup and discard, thankful that I am empty no more.

Empty? Silently pray right now, “Dear God, I’m empty, I invite you to come fill me up” in Jesus name I ask and pray! -Amen!

-Kathy Yoder

Copyright 2015