1John1:5-9 This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The Empty Cup
We often talk about the cup being half full or half empty. But one day, while listening to Avery Wright’s Audiobook, Emotional Intelligence, he spoke to my wounded heart. Wright talked about a man who thought he knew all the disciplines of the Zen teachings; He talked and talked about everything he learned to the Zen master he admired and wanted to learn more, but as he continued boasting about all his accomplishments, the Zen master was filling his cup and kept pouring until the man asked him to stop pouring. Then, he asked the Zen master why he didn’t stop at the brim. Finally, the teacher told him to empty himself, or he will not be able to receive different perspectives.
This story reminded me of me at a group meeting I started attending. I’ve read countless books on healing, worked on changing myself, accepted the things I can’t change, which is called radical acceptance, and did my work to the best of my ability. I went to counseling. I also wanted to know why people harm other people. When we understand why hurt people hurt people, we can have compassion towards them and are more able to pray for them as Jesus commands us to do so. However, after endless events, I lost myself and felt a darkness fall over me. I wanted vengeance for all my pain and suffering; I felt alone and abandoned by God. My heart was hardening, and I became numb.
God is Good
When I woke up the following day, a song was in my mind, “O Come to the Altar, by Elevation Worship.
I confess the sin of self-sufficiency and pride. I prayed for God to help me do my will, not His will. I was forced to rely on God for my provisions. God’s ways are not our ways. Paul says, I no longer live; the life I live, I now live in Christ. Fear paralyzed me, and my heart was darkened with bitterness, blame, and resentment. I isolated and camped out with self-pity. I blamed others and felt sickened by unkind thoughts, attitudes, and conversations. I confess my sins, Lord; please help me to do better in Jesus’ name, amen.
Peter said to the paralyzed man at the gate entry, “Silver and gold, I do not have, but what I do have, I give to you in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Peter had the faith to help this man walk. I was empty and began to doubt my faith, but my brothers and sisters in the group lifted me in prayer and support. So many of us believe that our faith alone is enough; we are isolated. We can’t survive independently; we need God and His people; each Body member is vital, or we will die. I’ve also learned that emptiness is a gift from God. Emptiness is the death of ego, and ego must go so God’s fullness can manifest in us and through our empty cup. Let God and His People fill your empty spaces with Grace, Mercy, Truth, and Love.
References: Emotional Intelligence, Avery Wright, 2019, How People Grow, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend, 2001, Holy Bible, NKJV.