Do you ever feel like that picture above? Empty? Still standing, but not much substance inside? A shell of who you used to be or who you wanted to be?
So many times, we can work on the outer part of our lives - those areas seen by others, our image, our reputation and more, yet forget about the substance inside, that part which makes us alive. We crumble bit by bit, not realizing how barren our lives have become as we continue to smile, have "fun", be active, go through the motions and put on a good face but a weariness, numbness and maybe even deadness grows until we are but a shell of who we wanted to be.... of who God created us to be.
Is that you today? Are you still going through the motions and looking good on the outside, while slowly dying on the inside?
What a dangerous place to be! I have been there and I have had to realize the danger and make immediate changes in order to survive, grow and thrive. What changes? First of all, I have to evaluate.. How is my walk with the Lord?
Am I reading my Bible to find the treasures God has for me... or to say I did it?
Am I spending time in prayer? Repentence? Forgiving? Obedience? Praising God?
I have learned that for me, one of the biggest issues is, Am I getting enough rest? How is my health? Have I been doing too much again? Am I trying to "do it all"? Am I forgetting to allow physical rest and healing? Fatigue can quickly empty us.
Neglecting any of these can make a person spiritually sick and decay quickly sets in. Something else happens at this point also. We become more susceptible to the lies of satan... wondering if God really cares, feeling envious of others, allowing hurts to blind us to God's blessings, hardening our hearts to the still small voice of God. We can become fearful and timid. Some become grouchy or downright angry.
Part of our evaluation should include checking our foundation... it is strong? Maybe we have learned God's Word and known Him for years and the foundation is pretty good. Repentance can allow God's work in our lives to continue and be fruitful.
Maybe the foundation is crumbling or even missing in places. If our foundation is on anything but God, it is not a good foundation. Church traditions are not a good foundation. What makes me "happy" is not a good foundation. Pleasing others is not a good foundation. "The way I've always done it." is not a good foundation. Fear of criticism, Fear of not pleasing someone, and other fears are also a bad foundation.
No matter how much you build on a weak foundation, it will always stay weak because it isn't the right foundation. Find the source of the foundation problem and then steps can be taken to fix it. The only good foundation is God's Word. Many have tried other foundations and they can look good for a while, but emptiness shows up eventually.
A willing and repentant heart submitted to God and trusting in His Word, is a good foundation. Our human nature is still there, but what a work God can do with a person willing to let God lead. He highlights weak areas and gives grace and wisdom to help us grow. The foundation grows stronger and His light is able to shine through us, even as a broken vessel.
As we give praise to Him and remember to be thankful, peace and life grows, joy grows also. God continues the growing process and we can be content, even in difficult times as we trust Him to know all things, to lead us, to give wisdom and more.
If you are feeling empty today, I hope you will check your foundation, fix it, and get back on track. God loves you and has a plan for your life... no, it won't be all "sunshine and roses", but He promises to be with us even in the trials.
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Other posts in the Fear Series: