Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:5-8
Living a life through chronic illness and disability is a lot like being poured out. Emptied.
It's a difficult thing to endure.
I find myself trying to fill myself back up, as if I am not enough if I'm just an empty vessel. Maybe if I can reach enough, I'll feel more useful. Having a strong enough string of healthy days will make me feel more successful. Worthiness might come if I could just stay a little more busy.
But look at the above verse... Jesus emptied Himself. He didn't try to earn Sonhood. He didn't regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.
Here are some steps we can take to take hold of our emptiness, rather than fight against it:
1. Experience Christ's love. Sit and soak it in. Feel it in your heart. Bask in the enormity of it.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. - Ephesians 3:19
2. Accept that you are complete in Him. It's the only way to experience true fullness. It's why He came.
So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. - Colossians 2:10
3. Now let it shine through you. All that you've received, become the giver.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are inany affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.- 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
None of this makes any of our trials go away. But, oh, it sure does make them easier to bear.
We'll still have to fight against our fleshly nature, but we don't ever have to fight alone.
The only way to truly be filled with Him is to allow ourselves to remain empty. He created you as a vessel, and you are beautiful to him, just as you are.
Dear God, as You empty us of our own flawed natures and desires, please help us to remember that You are filling us with Your Spirit and Your plans. Thank You for having bigger dreams for us. In Jesus' Name, Amen...
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