Devotionals
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May 6, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you tend to fill space in your conversations with empty words or sentiments? 


Do you tend to fill space in your conversations with empty words or sentiments?   Usually empty spaces scare us.  We will run from them and we try to give explanations.  Not necessarily a true explanation, but we think that any explanation is better than the scary empty space of a conversation.   We can’t stand to have that awkward silence.   We’re really good at filling the uncomfortable silence with noise, aren’t we? In this millennial age it’s easier to look down, to type into a screen, to retweet someone else’s soundbite then it is to just be. We puff ourselves up by reading the headlines, anything to make those around us believe we’re well informed, invested, and engaged.  Face to face with a colleague or friend, our discomfort turns to idol explanations.

 

Empty space is the place where all significant transformation happens. This place is where we as Christians absolutely hate being, but this is where God is always leading us. You see it is only when we are empty that He can fill us.  The empty space is a threshold place, a no man’s land so to speak and who’s comfortable being there after all?  But why are we so afraid of silence? Why do we turn away when the moment feels uncomfortable?

 

“When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.” Job 2:12-13 Job’s friends sat with him for seven days and seven nights without saying a word. Now that’s uncomfortable. But they knew that Job’s deep suffering required deep empty space. In order for God to fill the emptiness, there needed to be an awkward silence. There needed to be time to simply wait and entrust. I can only imagine that in their quiet existed a deep sense of togetherness.

 

I think this is what most of us are missing.  When we look down at our phones in order to fill an empty free moment. When we make idol conversation or fill time with fluff.  We break our chance to enter together into no-man’s land, into the uncomfortable void where God works. We miss our chance at real togetherness, and in turn we fail each other. Instead of really hearing each other we exchange headlines and quickly speculated opinions. We respond to our friends or our coworkers or even our kids without matching their expression. We respond but don’t really hear. We exchange words without really connecting.

 

God fills our empty spaces of discomfort when we look up rather than down. When we’re so fixed on our own vantage point, staring at our feet or turning away, we miss the opportunity to have an impact. Imagine if we all did this, if we looked up and actually talked to each other.  If we took the time necessary to understand our differences rather than just simply disagree. If we really stood together in the gap of pain and suffering, maybe real connections would begin to grow in our empty spaces. Maybe, God would be able to use us in even bigger ways.  I think we have to be brave and give it a shot. This life we have is messy and uncomfortable.  Let’s be in it together. Put down your cell phone and keep your eyes up next time you’re sitting with someone.  What you will notice might surprise you!

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, please help me bridge the gap between my discomfort and offering Your heart in a situation.  Jesus be with me in a way that gives me courage to engage in togetherness, in silence, in waiting.  Lord surround me with others who are willing to do the same so that together we might enter into a deeper understanding of friendship and love.  God thank you for giving me the gift of Your love, help me to be a steward of it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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