I walked into the quaint corner church and found a spot at the end of a middle pew and joined around 200 other women gathered close for bible study.
I can’t remember the last time I entered a new church where I don’t know a soul for a bible study I signed up for online.
The summer series is on Eden, on the anticipation of the fullness of the one day Eden, when all will be as it should. Nancy Guthrie, a humble, deliberate teacher, spoke with energy and awareness of the women gathered and I sat like a sponge just soaking.
Not knowing a soul.
Not leading or feeling the need to be anyone other than a new girl in a pew taking it all in.
She began in Genesis 1 and read about how God made the earth dark, without shape, empty, and then gave it structure, filled it with colors and vegetation, animals and people, and illuminated our cosmos. She shared about how we are created similarly; a deep void and emptiness for more. The very more God longs to fill with Himself.
Then she hopped over to 2 Corinthians and I nearly panicked wondering when was the last time I’d had to flip-flop back and forth through my bible and we landed on chapter 5. About Paul and the thorn in his flesh. The very reflection of a Savior who had thorns in his temples and gets it. He gets the emptiness only God can fill.
And then she spoke these words with veracious fervor that I almost stood and clapped but I couldn’t because I was simultaneously wondering, where am I and how amazing is this?
When we are weak, He is strong.
Ya ya we know this one, I thought.
But she pressed deeper, and shared about when we empty ourselves of ourselves, when we toss open our hands and willingly give up our ways, we are FILLABLE. Fillable for His Spirit to do what it does best- strengthen us from the inside out so that we can’t claim strength for ourselves, but so that God is glorified through us.
I drove home, the sun going from bright pink to deep lavender, the hills growing emerald, then gray, and a million fireflies twinkled low, and all the while my mind circled around that word: fillable.
I want to be fillable.
‘Cuz man, I want to fill myself with my achievements and my work and my plans but then I’m doing life on my own strength and there’s something not so grand about that.
So I listened to the inner pockets within and searched for where I can’t be filled because I’m desperately not emptying.
A vision flashed before me; of a mason jar, mostly empty but on the bottom was sand, almost putty-like, piling up the side. Water filled the jar but when it hit the bottom, the liquid became murky and grainy due to the sand clouding the entire jar.
I’m that jar, I saw. I’m scared to empty all, to drain the final remnants. Those grains are mine. I want to hold them tight, maybe stew on them, or control them or better yet, see the potential in them and hold them tight for the future.
There along the green field road, I watched fireflies pop up then disappear, like twinkly stars hovering above the earth and knew.
In order to be fillable I have to empty completely. Only when I do that will transformation be 100% not me.
And that’s where the magic begins.