The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Max Ingalls
Seward City Church 

PASTOR'S CORNER

 

September 15, 2016 | View PDF



“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

- Romans 15:13

Have you ever needed some space? Like when, as a man, you get hurt and someone comes rushing to attend to you, but your response is on of, “Just give me some space!” Or maybe, you “meet someone at church” (a great place to meet people), but when you exchange numbers and info, you wonder, “Why don’t they return my calls or text messages?!” Turns out, you came across a little strong …the Facebook request, your status change (“in a relationship”), that phone call to his parent’s house and inviting yourself over to dinner… Ya, maybe you should have given them some “space.”

Paul says, “May the God of hope fill you…” I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be “filled,” and that in order to be filled with the hope, joy, and peace of God, I need to create “space” in me that can be filled.

In 2 Kings 4:1-7, Elisha the prophet told a widow who was in desperate need, to collect “empty” vessels, a bunch of them. He told her “Collect these empty jars, go to your home, close the door, and fill them with the little oil you have left in your pantry. Sell the oil to pay your debts, and live off the rest.”

Elisha had told her to gather “not a few,” but as many empty vessels as she could. This probably sounded strange and made for some awkward conversations as she asked her neighbors for “empty jars.” But she was desperate, and did as she was told. The widow eventually made her way home, arms full of empty jars, she closed the door, and began to make space as she set aside each container. “How is this going to work?” she probably wondered. Or maybe she took a step back and sadly laughed at herself and said, “I get it, this is a joke. I have a room full of poor, old, empty vessels…just like me.” But she remembered the words of Elisha, she gathered herself and obeyed his instructions. She began filling. To her surprise, one after another, jars were filling up to the top! She and her sons were beside themselves! A miracle!

She created space, and her needs were met.

I want to be obedient like the widow. I want to recognize my desperate existence and need for a hope that is not found in myself. I want to make space, create space, to offer myself to God, empty… not with my agenda or opinions, but emptied and ready to be filled by Him. To be filled with His joy and His peace, and to overflow with hope!

 

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