Jesus told the Samaritan woman that God must be worshipped in spirit and in truth (see John 4:24). He concluded that we must worship Him in our heart. During my time of deepest despair, I participated in a lot of faith-based activities, but I failed to internalize my worship. Outwardly, I knew all of the right words, phrases, and praise songs. Inwardly, I had no discipline of personal, daily replenishing visits to the well. I was going to all the right places but failed to go to the One who actually had what I needed. I had neglected to develop a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus.
I needed to hear Jesus speak to me just as he spoke to the woman at the well. Amazingly, he always had time for me and welcomed my approach into His presence. His invitation was simply to come empty-empty of pretense, empty of self-sufficiency, empty of strength. Daily I would return with my empty vessel. At first, I felt ashamed. I did not want to be needy but rather needed. I wanted to be self-sufficient. But, with each trip back to the well of His life-giving Word, I left with the understanding that He was more than enough. I found that when He pours into emptiness, He gives abundantly. So, I continued returning to drink deeply.
You may be unhappy with your current circumstances: financial burdens, marital strain, family responsibility, and pressures may have left you feeling overwhelmed or in physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. The problem with pain is it demands to be relieved. It is here, in this place of seeking relief, that an invitation is presented. It’s an invitation to come empty and bring the pains of this life daily into His presence, and let Jesus speak words of healing into every place life has hurt you.
Life is full of invitations to come empty. Every time things don’t go as planned. Every time death comes unannounced. Every time disappointment rears its head. Every time illness strikes. Every time money is low. Every time your strength is gone. Every time fear tries to dominate. Every time faith is overshadowed by doubt. The invitations are countless. The question is not if you will get an invitation; the question is whether or not you will come. Will you accept life’s invitation to come empty and be filled?
** Excerpt from Saundra’s book, Come Empty: Pour Out Life’s Hurts and Receive God’s Healing Love (SonRise Devotionals 2015). Available wherever Christian books are sold.
With a heart of compassion and love for encouraging, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is inspiring audiences to live free from mental limitations, fears, insecurity, and past emotional baggage. She has merged her Internal Medicine training and her spiritual beliefs to offer a level of health care that lead to total wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit.