I woke up this morning feeling empty and dissatisfied. All I could think about is what I lacked. The thoughts tumbled and taunted and I couldn’t escape them. So I did the only thing I knew to do to find comfort, I got up and talked to God at 3 stinking 30 in the morning.
God so graciously reminded me that “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”. (Ps. 34:10) Not only that, but he began to speak into my emptiness. That is exactly what I wanted and needed to hear the most.
We all want our emptinesses filled up. Most of the time we try to fill ourselves up. I think I know what will make me happy. But my view is myopic. There is nothing truer than the saying, “Father knows best”, especially as it applies to God’s work in our lives. I kind of cringe at that phrase because I don’t want you to hear it in a condescending tone nor in a Jesus juke sort of way, but in a more tender, caring, intentional Father who longs to bless his son or daughter sort of way.
It’s hard not to think of emptiness as a bad thing, but a full vessel can’t be filled. And if God knows the best filling for my vessel, then maybe emptiness is a good thing. I just need to reframe my thinking because His ways are not my ways. I need to remind myself not of my emptiness, but rather His fullness and His ability to fill. His filling is better than my filling. All this talk about filling has me picturing God in a baker’s hat, filling a donut with one of those pastry or frosting bags. Perhaps he is squeezing in strawberry jelly or chocolate. Or maybe He’s filling double stuff Oreos. I digress.
A song by Christa Wells came to mind. I looked up the lyrics to How Emptiness Sings and they hit me right in the feels.
Sister carries her loneliness
In a hidden hollow inside her chest
And sometimes all she wants is an end
To the long, long night
But ohh, her bow is on the strings,
And the tune resonates in the open space
To show us how emptiness sings:
Glory to God, glory to God!
And fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his Song
My life for the glory of God
You can hear it here: How Emptiness Sings
I then found an interview where Christa Wells spoke of the inspiration for the song. She wrote it in response to a discussion with a friend about the hollow in a guitar and how that hollow allows the music to resonate.
Resonate means to produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound. Reverberate means to become reflected, to have an effect that spreads over a wide area or lasts for a long time; to expand, amplify; an echoing.
The hollow is necessary for the sound to echo. Reading these definitions reminded me that my filling does not last, but God’s filling lasts. Not only does it last, it grows and spreads, continues and echoes. What if my emptiness is in some way an advantage to the gospel because of how it transforms me? My transformation then echoes out to others that God’s filling is the best filling!
Today, God, let my emptiness sing.
Lord God, help us see emptiness through Your eyes. I don’t like feeling hollow, but when I bring my emptiness to you, you set my emptiness to music and I sing a new song in praise to You. That song goes beyond me, rippling out to others. When I seek you, I lack no good thing. Amen.