Some years ago, we learned a great way to make our holiday money stretch, and that's important these days! We ordered ice water with our meals instead of the usual soda’s.
Now you say, "Well, that's no big deal." Yeah, it is. We finally talked our kids into it because the five of us, we figured, could save money every time we ate out. And pretty soon you add those up and you've got enough to eat another meal out. We also learned it was a good idea to do that throughout the year. Hey, listen, drinking water is good for you.
All right, here's our word for today from the Word of God. It's from 2 Corinthians 12. I'll begin reading at verse 7. Now, we know that generally empty is bad...like an empty gas tank, or an empty wallet. But empty is not bad when it comes to the workings of God. In fact, we're going to read the testimony of an empty glass guy.
Paul says, "To keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
A bit of a translation: "When I am empty, then I can be filled." You see, Paul was a man with great talent, great stamina, great knowledge, great influence, but some very severe physical problem has him in its grip - his thorn he called it. And he's saying here, "It hurts. It's tough to function with it. I've got work to do, and here I am coming up empty!" We say, "Oh, that's bad." He says, "No, that's good. Because when I'm empty, Christ can fill me. And in those weak times there's just a little of me and a lot of Him."
I can totally relate to what Paul is saying here because I've been there. Oh, not with a severe thorn in the flesh, but totally depleted, frustrated, hurt, disappointed, too tired to do what I had to do. There have been so many times when my radar is down; my emotions are spent, my physical energy is totally gone. I can't even feel it seems like.
And wouldn't you know it, I have people who need me then; work to get done. I'm empty, and every time my Lord moves in gently and He says, "It's okay. There's not much of you left right now. Many times when there's a lot of you there's too little of Me, say’s God, in what you do. But this time it's going to have to be all Me isn't it? So, relax and I'll fill you, I'll strengthen you, I'll take you outside your limitations into My unlimited resources." And those have been some of the sweetest, greatest victories of my life and probably of yours.
Look, if you've had it, don't give up; open up to be filled with Christ's strength. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Now, there's just a little of you, but that means there can be a lot of Him.
If your glass is empty, that's good news, because you're about to be filled with Jesus Christ.