Created to be Filled

created to be filledThere’s a picture frame in my office on a shelf.  I bought it a few months ago, and I am almost embarrassed to say, it’s never been filled.   I had a plan when I purchased it.   There was an empty space on the shelf that needed to be filled.  So I ran to my favorite discount store, found a great frame that matched the office, brought it back and filled the space…

…but that filling created a new space, a new empty space.  The frame was empty, and now it needed to be filled.

The Bible begins in Genesis with a chapter full of empty spaces.  In fact, we find Genesis 1 stating that the earth was empty, so God started creating spaces in the emptiness…the skies, the seas, the land.  God created empty spaces, and then He went to work to fill them.  What God created, He filled…birds for the sky, fish for the sea, animals for the land.

When the spaces God created were filled and He declared that they were good, God spoke one more time and He created man.   Genesis 1:26 says He created man in His own imageand then He gave man a charge.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Genesis 1:28

 God created man in His image.  God fills. That means we were created to fill.

I find that life is a series of filling empty spaces, just like my shelf. As a wife and a mom, I see an empty space in the refrigerator, and I go to the store to fill it.   There is an empty space in my closet, so I shop online for something perfect…to fill it.  I remember an empty flower pot out on the porch so I head to the garden center to fill it as well.  I see a blank space on my calendar.  What do I do? I get to work to fill it.

As those created to fill, we can get pretty busy filling up spaces, filling up things, filling up time.

And let’s face it.  There are empty spaces in our lives others can’t always see that need to be filled. There are empty spaces in our relationships, empty spaces in our heart, in our emotions.  There are empty spaces in our identity, who we want to be, who we feel we are, in our job, our title, our self-worth.

We see, feel, experience these empty spaces and what do we do?  We get to work.  We try to fill up the empty spaces…because that is what we do…but we find that no matter how hard we work, no matter how much we spend, no matter what new title we attach to our name, nothing we do fills up these empty spaces.

And that’s where we can go right back to Genesis 1, because we were not only created to fill, we were created to be filled.

You see, all through Genesis 1, God created, and then He filled.   The final creation was man.  God created and then God filled.  God filled man with the breath of life.  He filled man with exactly what he needed, and man became a living being.

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  Genesis 2:7

God created man. God fills what He creates.

That means we were created to BE filled.

 The word used for fill in the original language means to make complete, to liberally supply, to fill to the top, to cause God’s will to be obeyed and fulfilled in our lives.   This is real filling, eternal filling, filling that lasts!

Trying to fill ourselves with anything else will never make us complete. It will ever enable us to follow the will of God for our lives.  Our striving only leads to greater emptiness, but His filling always leads to completion. Nothing was created to fill us but Him. Choosing to be filled with anything else will only leave us empty, dry, searching or shopping for temporary things, temporary positions, temporary titles.   Just like filling the space on my shelf with a frame created another empty space, filling ourselves with temporary things will only lead to additional empty spaces in our hearts crying out to be filled.

We were never created to fill the empty spaces in our hearts.  We can’t because while we were created to fill, only the One Who created us can fill us.  Created spaces were meant to be filled and only their Creator can fill them perfectly. God fills our empty spaces with:

His joy and peace

         May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peaceas you trust in Him…  Rom. 15:13

 His love

 For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given the Holy Spirit to us to fill our hearts with His love.  Rom 5:5

 His Spirit

 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit… Acts 2:4

Feeling empty today?

Ask your Creator to fill those empty spaces.  Stop striving, trying to fill places you were never meant to fill.  Give God your empty places and He will fill them.  He created you, now let Him fill you to overflowing!  You will be amazed at the life that is breathed into you as the One Who created you fills you with what only He can give!  Places that were lonely will be filled.  Places that were hurt will be healed.  Places of defeat will become places of victory!  You will be filled to overflowing!

Let’s stop striving and start resting, fill what we are called to fill and let Him fill up what only He can.

And who knows?  The picture frame in my office just might get filled up, too!

Praise God we were created in the image of a filling God.  Created to fill, created to be filled!

I Cling to You

Many years ago when my daughter was in preschool, I attended a mom’s group with some girlfriends at a similar place in life.  Our children would play together and participate in various activities while we studied The Word and prayed for one another.  It was one of those rich circles of friendship God knit together as we encouraged each other to follow Him.

Many of the women in the group thought that my girlfriend, Lori, and I looked a lot alike.   We are both fair, have similar hairstyles.  We have similar personalities and we get excited about the same things.  The women in the group were not the only ones who thought Lori and I resembled one another.  It quickly became apparent that her three year old son, Andrew, did too.

When Andrew needed some comfort or a reassurance, like all three year olds, he would run to his mom, grab ahold of her leg and cling to her.  His eyes would turn upward, looking for her reassuring smile that said he was loved and that everything was going to be alright.

Without fail, at every mom’s event, Andrew would confuse me with his mom.  We could see it coming from across the room, but there was no easy way to stop it.  Andrew would see what looked to be his mom from a distance.   He would run to ME, throw his arms around MY leg, and CLING to ME!  Continue reading “I Cling to You”

She is Strong

Mom she is strongI heard the news that I was going to be a mom in a rather unconventional way.  My husband and I were waiting to board a flight when we decided to call home to check the answering machine one last time.  There was a new message waiting for us and when it hit my ears, it grabbed my heart. The adoption agency we were using to start our family had left a very short message.  It simply said, ‘Please call us back.  We have identified a baby girl for you.’  The call I had waited years to receive had finally come!  It was the moment that changed my life forever.

Because of the path I walked on my journey to motherhood, I love to read about women in the Bible who walked a similar path…Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Samson’s mom.  Notice something different about Samson’s mom.  We are not given her name.

Samson’s nameless mom received the news that she was going to be a mom in a very unconventional way!  She was met by the Angel of the Lord with a message that after years of wanting a child, she would have a son.  She would be the mother of the next deliverer, a strong man who would begin the path to freedom for his people from the Philistines. It was a dark time in Israel’s history.  The Bible says the days were evil and everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes… Continue reading “She is Strong”

Come Here and Listen

come here and listen 1As women who seek to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, hearing the still small voice of God through the written pages of His Word is something we crave.  There comes a time in life when hearing anything other than His voice is no longer enough, a time when we long to be in His presence, when we need to come close and listen to His voice above all the distractions and chaos of life.  In those moments, God calls us from where we are, to where we will be.  For me, that moment was in the winter of 2011.

We had recently moved into a new house and I was trying to establish a new routine.  I know many of us have been there.  Boxes, boxes and more boxes were piled up crying out to be emptied while at the same time my family was crying out for food, laundry and some normalcy in life!  So many things were calling out for my attention, my focus.  The chaos in life was loud.   I was feeling stressed, overwhelmed and just plain exhausted.

For years, I have had the habit of spending time with God first thing, early in the morning.  It has been a priority in my life that I treasure. Time set apart with Him before I have time with anyone else, including Facebook, texts and email, has been critical for direction for the day and developing a deeper relationship with Him.  Continue reading “Come Here and Listen”

Gaze upon the Cross

GazenowordsEver gone star gazing?  I mean not just stepping out into the night and casually noticing the stars, but really intentionally star gazing.  There is something extraordinary about the stars that turns our gaze up.

Last month, I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time living on a sheep farm on the coast of New Zealand.  During the day, we spent our time on shepherding excursions, but at night, when the sun went down and the stars came out…and so did we!   Led by a professional New Zealand star gazer, we were taken to the pinnacle of a cliff on the coast and what a magnificent display of God’s creation we saw!  Against the dark of night, millions, if not billions of stars were visible to the eye as our gaze was fixed up.

Our guide pointed to the sky, naming constellations and connecting their stars with a very high powered laser pen.  I watched, amazed, as I considered the stars.  Each constellation seemed bigger, or clearer than the next as he drew across the sky in front of us.  When he came to the final constellation to our right, our guide set his laser on a set of very bright stars.  He said, ‘Do you see these five stars that are shining the brightest?’  It was not difficult to see these stars.  He used his laser pen to connect the dots…to connect the stars…into a very familiar, powerful picture.  One by one, these stars created a cross shining brightly in the dark New Zealand sky.  And then he went on…. Continue reading “Gaze upon the Cross”

A Shaken House

Unshakeable:  Not capable of being toppled or swayed, not given to trembling or falling down, not fit for wavering.  Every day I see more and more evidence around me that while this life can shake us up, we can rest unshaken in the arms of Jesus.

One of the women in the Bible that I have studied the least is Rahab, but the more I study her, the more I see a woman just like me, just like us.  I guess I would prefer to be Esther, a princess, or maybe Ruth, a kindhearted woman who gives it all up to help another grieving woman and spends her time gleaning in the fields to meet her kinsman redeemer.  Those stories, even with their hard times, sound like the woman I want to be or become.   Their stories, though tough are ‘prettier’.

But Rahab…we all know her occupation, her past, her story.  Pretty sure I have never said I want to see myself in Rahab, but I was wrong.    Continue reading “A Shaken House”

Kick it Up, Princess!

Psalm 62:6  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

Back in the spring, Dan and I joined a gym and we love it!  We are empty nesters now so the gym has been our connect, the place we go together in the afternoon.

While I have worked out for many years now, I have never taken strength training very seriously.  I enjoy cardio but have always stayed away from the weight section of the gym.  Weight are scary for me.  They are just too heavy! But this year, in this new place, I have taken on the weights and I love it!  I wake up in the mornings with good pain in muscles I didn’t know I had in my arms, quads and abs.

The other day we were doing bicep curls at the gym and I was feeling pretty good.  I had been using the same size weights for a while now and I was smiling because, wow, I felt like I was pretty strong!  What used to feel really heavy to me Continue reading “Kick it Up, Princess!”