My (re)lenting heart: living life in the blank space

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This year, I gave up sweets for Lent.  And you know, the hardest part hasn’t so much been refraining from chocolate and ice cream and cookies (though I do, I do, I do love chocolate!!).  The hardest part has been knowing what to do with the empty space.  So many times, I want to go and find something else — anything else — to eat and make me feel full again.  Not dessert? Fine.  Popcorn will do.  Or fruit.  Or pancakes…

But God has been reminding me lately, that it’s in the space that things happen.

And it’s funny, because that’s sort of where I am in life now too.  I think living overseas has wired me for constant change and stimulation, and I find myself waiting, looking, hoping for the next big “adventure” to be revealed, or the next dream to pursue, the next challenge to embark on.  Lord, will You send me out again?  Or will I get married and start a family?  Or will You open up new opportunities here, where I am?

And finally, after running around and getting nowhere, I’ve realized that God is simply calling me to be.  To live wholeheartedly where I am, and to trust Him to carry out His purposes.

It’s so easy to get caught up, filling that space — filling my stomach when I’ve had enough to eat…filling my days with pointless activities and appointments…filling the silence with noise and distractions — when God is calling us to receive from Him what is better.  Why do we fill ourselves up on things that don’t really satisfy, when God is holding out to us the choicest of foods, the richest of fare? Man, I don’t want to miss out on that.

This week, I read about Elijah and that time when he journeyed up a mountain to seek after God — feeling desperate, hungry, and alone.  He thought that God might be in the “big” and “exciting” things that passed by, in the earthquake, or the wind, or the fire.  But God wasn’t in those things.  Nope.  Elijah found God…in the silence.

It’s in the space that God speaks, that hearts are moved, that circumstances change.

So as we wait…for breakthrough to come, for prayers to be answered, for dreams to be fulfilled…as we wait for our next meal or appointment or “adventure”… may we have soft and open hearts, ready to listen and receive from Him.  May it be in the blank space that we find rest and satisfaction for our souls.

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