Friday, September 25, 2015

Of Emptiness... And of Being Filled ~ Thoughts on All Our Empty Places

"If only God would give me different circumstances." No one understands your circumstances but God, and He has given you the fighting chance to prove you can be more than conqueror in all these things. Let God lift you out of the broken place, out of the bedraggled place.
~ Oswald Chambers

We all have broken places, don't we?

Scars from hurts given to us.

Scars from hurts we've given to others.

Memories that haunt us, reminding us who has failed us... and how we've failed, too, all on our own.

The chinks in our armor that mock us in the mirror, telling us, day-after-day-after-day: "You don't measure up."

And sometimes, when we become Christians, we figure that those scars will disappear, that the "old injury" won't bother us, that our armor will become whole and strong, so that we can fight our way through life with ease and jollity. 

But they don't disappear, do they?

Actually, they seem to widen, stick out even more, reinterating that even as Christians, we still have broken places. Emptiness. Holes of darkness that it seems no light will pierce.

It's enough to make us despair, isn't it?

It's enough to make me despair - that's for sure.

And then, one day, years ago now, shedding tears over my Bible - admitting to God that I was utterly incapable of living this life He'd given as it ought to be lived - He spoke to me.

And the verse that I read was this:

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I can't adequately express what that meant to me, other than this:
Christ's grace was sufficient for me - He would be my Sufficiency - He would pour His ability into me - because - His strength would be perfected - made complete - in my weakness - in my inability - in my incapability.

I realized - and what a humbling realization! - with the sureness of it being seared into my heart that my emptiness was good - my inability was good - my brokenness was good...

His strength can only be shown in weak people, people who know that they are weak, people who need His strength.

His grace could repair all the broken places, could fill me utterly because I was empty of myself - of my own abilities, of my own "wholeness."

When we're whole, shiny, and brimming with everything good, we don't think we need Him. We still do, of course, but we don't think so. We're so easily self-satisfied.

He wants broken hearts, broken lives, empty people whom He can fill with Himself.

And that is the theme of All Our Empty Places, releasing 9/29/15 (click here to preorder the Kindle edition).

I hope that you enjoy it, friends. May God use reading it to minister to your heart as writing it did mine.

Grace and peace,


  1. You describe my struggle so well. Feelings of inadequacy and regret dogged me when I injured my back since I could no longer maintain the active volunteer and ministry lifestyle I was living. I do was drawn to that verse while weeping and lamenting my feelings of loss. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    1. Thanks for sharing that. :-) What a merciful Savior we have, who comes to us in our weakness.

  2. Such excellent thoughts, Alicia. Really hits close to home for me. I struggle so much with accepting His grace and sufficiency. I know I need it desperately, but sometimes I get caught up in pride that I 'can do this on my own'. :( It's such a lie, but such a stronghold. I am praying hard through this struggle and know that in time God will win this battle. :) Thank you for sharing!!

    1. It's a battle every day for me, too, Raechel. Very thankful that He is so patient with us, foolish little sheep! :-)

  3. "I realized - and what a humbling realization! - with the sureness of it being seared into my heart that my emptiness was good - my inability was good - my brokenness was good..."

    This post is true. The world screams into the hearts of fallen humanity, "YOU are sufficient. YOU are powerful. YOU are able." Our God whispers the soft, gentle antithesis, "I am sufficient. I am powerful. I am able."

    This reminds me (how I need reminding!) - God is loving enough to take away our vessels of self-sufficiency. Yes, "He wants broken hearts, broken lives, empty people..." And why? That He may, "...fill with Himself."

    How else could Paul come up with a ludicrous conclusion as this, "That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties." Delight?! Did he say delight?! Why in the world would we delight in such abhorrent experiences?

    "Because," He would say. "...when I am weak, then I am strong."

    May God continually teach us (me!) this, and may your book be a vessel He uses!


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