What a day!
I am in one of the most amazing places in Northern Ireland, a place well known for its whiskey and a Giant whose steps helped shape an incredible landscape.
I spent an hour walking down the Giant Causeway, and then I made my way up the uphill where the no so nice steps wait for you. It is a challenge and a battle that I did not want to lose! I keep saying to myself, “don’t give up now”, at one point, I counted up to one hundred steps…
Finally, I got to the top, and the view was amazing! There was also a nice breeze that cooled me down, but when I reached for my water bottle for a well-deserved drink, my bottle was not on the back of my rucksack. It was at the caravan site. I did not bring it with me! For someone who has all the walking gear, that was a big mistake!
I was thirsty but not grumpy! That right there is a miracle! I just accepted the fact that I was going to wait for a drink of water. Even the pub at the entrance of the Giant Causeway was closed, and knowing that I still have some walking to get to my car, I decided to walk on empty. I had to.
I know that God is always speaking, and at the top of the cliff, without water, I realised that for the last couple of months I have been walking on empty, not that I have stopped praying or reading the Bible, but somehow the very thing that is there to fuel my soul were not nourishing me.
Please don’t judge me or misunderstand me! Yes, I believe in prayer, and I believe in the Word, and I don’t believe that the problem is on God’s side. But I don’t think that it is a problem, but an invitation. Anyone can read the Scriptures and pray without the leading of the Spirit.
But if I hear the Spirit’s voice well, which is a very subtle thing to do, I can listen that my lack of refreshment is an invitation to a deeper relationship and encounter with the one who is called the Living Water.
Wow, I am a professional Christian, a church leader, and I am a pastor! Yes, I struggle. The call to ministry is a double edge sword! The temptation to become religious and to ticks all the religious boxes because that is what I am here to do is what sometimes prevents me and perhaps you from being a follower, a lover of Jesus.
It is ok to be thirsty, and even at times to walk empty because it is an invitation to be filled again.
I am reading Rick Hill book Resilient Disciple, and I am blessed with what he has written: “In a world that emphasises strength, we are part of a kingdom that values weakness. So if you feel empty and vulnerable, be encouraged that God fills empty vessels … God is attracted to emptiness, and when you are most empty is when you can be most filled” (pg. 121)
Thank you, Rick, for articulating these words that have brought me an invitation to the Giver of Life, the one who brings Living Water “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37–38 ESV)