let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22
I recently lost a very special friend to cancer. Grief is a tricky emotion. It sneaks up on me when I least expect it. It brings on tears in the middle of the checkout line, makes me tired and almost impossible for me to concentrate. I had to retreat for a few weeks after Ella’s death. I needed time to regroup, to be alone in God’s word, to refuel and regenerate. When I do this, I often feel guilty for not being as available and helpful as I usually am. I feel lazy for needing a mid afternoon nap and selfish for not doing as much as I normally do for others.
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
As a sweet friend reminded me, as she lifted up her coffee cup, “We can’t serve when our cup is empty”. What a great reminder. We are NEVER sufficient in ourselves. Our sufficiency is from God (2 Corinthians 3:4-6). When our cup is empty. Our emotional energy exhausted. Our heart weak with grief, sadness, anger or despair. Our faith tested and stretched thin. We need to retreat and seek out God for His mighty strength. His provisions. His grace and His comfort. We seek Him through His word. He promises us protection, gives us life and confidence if we are abiding in His word.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:1-4
How can you share something you do not have? I need a cup (heart) full of God before I can go out and share His love and mercy with others. Without a full cup, I would surely be useless in sharing Christ’s love and message to others through my thoughts, deeds and actions. If your cup needs filling today, take refuge in the Lord. Find peace in retreating to reconnect and recharge in Christ. Throw the guilt out and take advantage of the freedom to sit at the feet of your Savior and bask in His light, His love and His power. It’s OK – take some time – fill your cup.