November 24, 2016

My empty platter

When I was a child, I had an illness that was life-threatening. The doctors told my parents that I would die before my 16th birthday. Because of that, I was sheltered and not given much instruction on how to live.

Years after proving the doctors wrong, I felt like I was missing out. I didn’t know how to deal with many issues of life and was unprepared for things that happened in school and after school. Constantly feeling like I was flying by the seat of my pants was at first ‘normal’ but after a while I realized that for me, this was a deeper issue than it was for my siblings and others. I continually felt as if I had nothing to offer.

During a class at Bible school, when I was already a grandmother, this verse made an impact on my life. I suddenly became aware that the way I felt was not as bad as it seemed. In fact, it was good preparation for a life of following Jesus Christ . . .

Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:2)

As Chambers says, this verse is a description of entire reliance upon God. I’d felt like a servant with an empty platter, but realized all God wanted from me was to wait for Him to fill it, then deliver what He put on it to others. What a relief!

Of course that emptiness was partly due to being a spoiled child. My parents thought I would die young and over-compensated by indulgence. After I became a Christian at age 29, I thought God would do the same. Feeling empty was not a good motivation for telling God what to give me. I also needed to realize that God was always the One to decide what I should do. He knew what I needed to fill my sense of uselessness. I only thought I knew what I needed.

I learned the hard way that the human spirit has this “I will do it myself” attitude that God calls sin. Feeling empty didn’t fix that; it only made me try harder, at least for awhile. At the same time, God gave me a desire to serve Him and do it according to His way, not my way. These also have been difficult lessons.

In the final analysis, God says I must keep my eyes on Him — like the servant looks to his Master — and when He fills my empty platter, that is a mercy; I do not deserve nor can I earn even the least of His blessings.


Darrell said...

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Dear Lord, there are sometimes that I think that I just blew it royally. I spoke out for you and the response was (in my eyes)…zip…nada….zilch! I end up judging myself and what I said (and did) and most importantly Your abiltity to use even, what I consider, …zip…nada….zilch, to bless Your people and the lost. Then I can either go into a self-righteous mode and blame them or go into a pity party. Help me Lord, that when things don’t go as I expect, to leave the results to You and not to judge what I do not know. Let me never forget that Your Word never returns void no matter how bad I think I have blown it.” In Jesus Name

Elsie Montgomery said...

Hi Darrell,
You may not know this, but Canadian Thanksgiving is in October! So we were in Texas from October 25 to November 8 - and celebrated both, but in between the proper days! Yes, Thanksgiving is always great!

Just a thought for you... whenever we glorify God, He is pleased. It doesn't matter if others "don't get it" because He does, and that is the important thing!