Love Reminders: Why Voids Are Not To Be Avoided

I got a random question for you…

Have you ever wondered why it’s easier to accept your flaws as opposed to your voids?

Flaws = Weaknesses, imperfections, what you can control and change

Voids = Lacking a necessary good, what you can’t control and change

If so, I want to encourage you: No matter how vast, no matter how voluminous the void, God’s sovereignty is always greater to not only fill it, but overflow it.

Granted, this truth is clearer conceptually than applicably, not to mention I’m sure there are some who struggle less with voids than flaws; however, in case you’re sittin’ there thinking I get all this, I just don’t know how to get there, consider this post a joint dive in discovering fresh purpose in places you never thought possible.

‘Cause truth is, for many of us (myself included), we prefer bridging our voids than exploring them in depth. Even when we do take the plunge, we’re often not ready for what we may find be it ego, fears, and/or our infatuation with the past. As Richard Rohr states in his book, Immortal Diamond

Whether humans admit to or not, we’re all in love with the status quo and the past, even when it’s killing us. [For most], it’s easier to gather energy around death, pain and problems than joy. For some sad reason, it’s joy we hold lightly and victimhood we hold on to.”

This in mind, let’s go back to the initial question and rephrase it: When it comes to the holes in our lives, have you ever wondered why we put God behind the telescope and our voids under the microscope?

Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Or are we so content in idolizing what’s not working in our life, so content in finding identity in ego¹, we fail to see our voids as God’s love reminder. To quote Jamie George, senior pastor at Journey Church in Franklin, Tennessee, “The thing that’s not working [in your life] is your opportunity for salvation to be saved from your ego and remember who you are.”

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Accordingly, the reason we wrestle with our voids often ties to not knowing what God wants to reveal through them. On the surface, we admit God wants us to know the highest heights of His love in the darkest depths of our despair. Yet, deeper down, we fade God in light of false hopes telling our trust what to do. Before we know it, we’re lost in a search for meaning outside the only place we can find it desperate for breakthrough, but not necessarily for freedom.

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Perhaps this is why Jesus taught love as an invitation first (Psalm 91:14, Matthew 11:28-30, John 3:16, John 15:15, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:38-39, Revelation 3:20) and as an instruction second (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Matthew 22:37-40)…so we could see awe in the awful and life as not only richer than temporary troubles, but richer because of them! The inevitable hurdles we encounter, they are more than opportunities to be humbled, but lifelines we’re passionately loved and rescued through. Therefore, we must accept the fact voids are imperative in the narrative of our lives as they offer a chance to centralize Christ as our security, the redeemer of all things who takes our time traveling tendencies and morphs them into a desire to know God as perpetual presence.

Think of it this way: In this life, on this side of heaven, there are many people living apart from God. To them, fear in the face of chaos makes perfect sense. After all, they have nothing to rely on other than themselves, their hope a mere flatline on the cardiogram of circumstance. But to those who trust in God, they can fear² Him in disarray knowing the chasms created in trial also create the heart space we need to receive those aforementioned love reminders³. As I told a colleague at work today, an empty container is better than no container at all since only the former can be opened and poured into.

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Bottom line:  Whatever you did…whatever you’re going through…those experiences are never worth the fear we preserve keeping them close at heart. Remember your battle scars are more than checkpoints signifying where you got it right; they are altars pointing people in the direction of wonder and reference…the veins by which people can know God longs to commune with them. Ultimately, our voids help us adore God, abide in gratitude, and die to our need to make sense of it all.

Selah.

Footnotes

  1. The sum of self-reliance/independence (i.e. prioritizing reason over faith); sentence shout-out to Jamie George and his Awakening series
  2. Fear as in awe/adoration
  3. See Psalm 23:1-4
Cover photo creds: medium.com

4 Truths For When You Feel Purposeless

Have you ever wondered what to do when you feel like you’re not making a difference? When you’re striving to find meaning on the conveyor belt of life?

Perhaps you’ve questioned whether or not your life’s present lines up with your purpose…if you’re on the right path with the right people.

If you have, then congratulations! You’re absolutely, positively human.

Granted, such questions contain universal relevance; however, it’s still important to know how to answer them when they surface.

‘Cause truth is: The bivocational life can feel like is a jungle…with doubt, a quicksand of the mind. But with the Word in hand along with the proper tools, even the toughest terrain can be ‘macheted’ through1.

So ultimately, this lesson is as much preparation as it is exploration.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of my day job.

How I’m wired, what fuels me, what I’m aiming for…couldn’t be further from my current occupational residency.

Not to mention, I work in an environment where I’m like a modern David running away from a bunch of Saul’s with spears in their hands1.

You talk about not feeling like you make a difference. Let’s just say I’m there.

However…this doesn’t mean my place at my job is a mistake (as I’ll later address next month).

Rather, it simply means I’ve bought into the following truths…

1) God has a flawless purpose for everyone…

Scriptures: Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 58:11 

2) Some seasons are supposed to be ridiculously challenging

Scriptures: Psalm 66:10, Zechariah 13:9, Romans 9:21, Isaiah 64:8

3) Being stretched beyond bandwidth is best seen as a compliment from God…

Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Hebrews 12:6, James 1:2-4, Romans 5:1-5

4) Our identity isn’t rooted in what we do.

Scriptures: John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5, Genesis 1:27, Jeremiah 1:5, 1 Peter 2:9

Thus, we don’t have to accept the chains our circumstances offer us. We don’t have to live in trepidation just because of someone’s sick prejudice. And we don’t have to waste our breath grilling God for mispositioning us when we can anchor our trust in the fact He always knows what He’s doing.

Why? ‘Cause trust is not dependent on having the answers; it’s dependent on believing the one Who does.

And I’m telling you, friends…when you remove entitlement from the equation3, there’s no doubt in my mind you will see differently.

So be encouraged to embrace God’s sovereignty and marinate in His faithfulness.

lzimmerman03‘Cause when you do, you’ll not only defeat deceptive feelings of purposelessness, but you’ll also discover the ways you can make a difference and leave a legacy even in the deserts and wildernesses of life. Furthermore, you’ll cultivate greater steadfastness in the face of temptation, especially the desire to prematurely quit4.

So if you’re strugglin’ today feeling worthless, stuck in the mud or frozen at a crossroads in zero visibility…faint not (Galatians 6:9), resist vain comparisons (Galatians 5:26)…and know the indescribable has made you indescribably.

Stay tuned next time when we’ll tackle our second question: How do you cope with the fears of rejection and mediocrity?

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Footnotes

1) We can’t control the setting we’re in, but we can control how we ready ourselves and respond in the wake of discouragement

2) Nothing like people conspiring against you to test the depth of your character

3) When you abandon the “right” to understand the way you see fit

4) For all you bivocationals out there…this is arguably the greatest lesson we can learn outside the two greatest commandments

Photo credits: ignant.de & finemind.com