The Emtpy Flask

by Rhonda, March 23, 2022

My children are adopted from an orphanage.  We live a blessed life here in America and we don't struggle with scarcity of food.  But, my kiddos knew what it was like to go hungry before they came home with us.

I remember the first time I gave them a banana, and I was so surprised by their squeals of delight.  They asked me several times to make sure.  Mama, can we have the whole thing?  In the orphanage, when they got a banana, it was sliced into tiny pieces and split between at least ten children.  They'd never eaten an entire banana by themselves.

One of the biggest struggles we had around food was with my son.  When he would eat, he would pack his cheeks full.  He looked like a little chipmunk every time he was finished eating.  He would stuff as much as he could into his cheeks, and he didn't care if it took him an hour to chew all of it.  He wanted to make sure he got to the food before everyone else did.  It took us years to stop him from stuffing his cheeks every time he ate.

When we live in a world of limited resources, it is difficult to image a Savior who has unlimited resources.  If someone at the table eats a lot of food, it means we might not have enough.  If someone else does well, we may not advance.  If someone is good, we cannot be as good.  

But, God is a God of unlimited means.  Our joy is deeply intertwined with fully understanding who Jesus is and what he's done for us, not what we can grasp for ourselves in this world.  Jesus has unlimited love and unlimited forgiveness.  He can provide everything we're looking for in abundance.  Sometimes I wonder why am I looking around, grasping for what I can get in this world, seeking empty flasks?  I have direct access to a flowing well in Jesus who provides everything I need.

Jesus did not grasp for the power of the world.  Instead, He emptied Himself.  He let go of his right - yes, it was His right - to exert His power.  In fact, when He was tempted with all of the fame, all of the wealth, and all of the glory of the world, do you know what He did?  

He chose you.

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. (Matthew Ch. 4)

The world steps on others to elevate themselves.  But, we are called to imitate our Savior.  The highest of high became the lowest of low to elevate you.  Our salvation is by faith, by grace.  Thank goodness it isn't by works, because I'd be in so much trouble.  

Since God is so graceful, we can live as though we're a people marked by the gospel.  Jesus has unlimited resources, so we can live generously, love lavishly, and extend forgiveness to those who don't deserve it.  We can give these things to others without running empty.  But, to accomplish this, we need to stay close to God.  Our focus must be on keeping our hearts facing Him, and not allowing ourselves to be overshadowed by the world.

When loving is hard, when forgiveness doesn't come easy, just remember.  We find our joy by going low like Jesus.  That's how we become higher than we could ever dream.

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