Monday, December 2, 2013

God fills the void .................................... Parables 048

The farm lane was longer than most, lined with junior fir trees and iced with snowdrift frosting. It looked untouched, even in the darkness.

“It is easy to see that the children have grown,” we chuckled, “There are no tracks, no forts, no tunnels, no angels in the snow.”

It seems to be a compulsion for youngsters, and even some adults, to make their mark in the expanse of a snow drift. If there is a space of any kind, it is like us to want to fill it; whether it is snow, a blank wall, a sheet of paper, or even silence. Something in us cannot leave a thing void, without putting something there.

That is an evidence of our origin, that we are created in the image of God. While our graffiti is perhaps a perversion, the inner compulsion to fill a space with something, is very much like the One who created us. This characteristic of God is revealed in the opening verses of the Old Testament. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and void . . . ” Genesis 1:1-2.

Regardless of the implications of the earth being formless and void, God didn’t leave it that way. He said, “Let there be light . . .  expanse . . .  vegetation . . .  sun . . .  moon . . .  stars . . .  fish . . .  birds . . .  animals . . .  and man made in our image, after our likeness.”
And all these things filled the void.

Each of us, because we are made in the image of God, have the same desire to put something in the places that are void, blank, without anything. We hang pictures on the wall, or doodle on notepads. We fill silence with music, or sometimes just with noise. It is part of who we are to be attracted to the snow drifts, to lie down on our backs, wave our arms and legs, and leave the impression of angels. The posture may not be dignified, but part of the reason that it feels good is that it is an expression of our identity.

Besides the filling of a void at creation, God also created a void when He made our hearts. It is hard to define, a hollow spot that gnaws at us at times. Some mistake it for loneliness, or hunger, or a desire for money, or clothes, or things, but we cannot fill it with any of those. None of them fit, because this is a God-shaped space. Even should we squeeze other things in, the vague unrest goes unsatisfied.

The only One who can fill that void is the One who moved out when sin moved in. But He longs to return, to fill us. Ephesians 3 says, “I pray that . . .  Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . .  and . . .  that you, being rooted and established in love . . .  may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Colossians 2:9 tells us that “in Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” and when we have Christ, we are “complete in Him,” with no void, no blanks.

We change snowdrifts forever by impressing “angels” in them. God changes us forever when He fills our empty spaces with Himself.

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