Running on Empty

It happens almost every week.  I reach into my food pantry or refrigerator for an item I plan to use in a meal, only to find that the container is empty.  Someone in my family has used the last of its contents but failed to throw it away.  What had appeared as a well-stocked cupboard was only useless packaging.

I wonder, does God ever reach for me, planning to use me in a situation, only to find that I’m an empty package?  My outward appearance may convey a promise of spirituality, but inwardly I am hollow and unusable.

In 2 Peter 1:5-8, Peter lists qualities we should be adding to our faith:  goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.  He concludes, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive.” (NIV)

How do I develop these qualities?  Unfortunately, James reminds us that many times, they are developed in us as we experience trials.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Don’t be discouraged.  That recent temptation you overcame has increased your measure of self-control.  Dealing with that difficult family member taught you the meaning of brotherly kindness.  Rejoice!  You’re being refilled and prepared for God’s service.

Copyright 2010  Mary E. Egidio – Permission is granted to share this article, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.  (you can share it, but tell who wrote it and where you found it, and please don’t sell it!)

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