Summary: It is a word that reveals lack. It holds no element of promise. The need is apparent...the solution is not. Nothing. How do you live through the nothings?
Living Thru The Nothings
Pt. 3 - Running Man
It is one of my least favorite words. Nothing. It is a word that reveals lack. It holds no element of promise. It contains no ounce of hope. Let me see if I can explain.
You kill yourself in efforts to knock out the best paper you have ever written. It has all the makings and components of an "A". So on the day it is due you go to the faithful computer and go through the steps to pull up the file only to see the dreaded "File Not Found" message. Nothing.
You fill out application after application. You go to interview after interview. You dress for success. You nail every answer. Your resume is perfect. And every time . . . nothing. No phone call. No follow up interview. No chance.
You take the meds. You toe the line and do exactly what the doctor said to do. Weeks go by and nothing. No improvement. No change.
The demand is there but the resource is not! The need is apparent the solution is not. A withdrawal is requested but there seems to be no funds. Energy is a must but the tanks are empty! Nothing in the cabinets. Nothing in the bank. Nothing in reserve. Relationship longed for but nothing. Nothing!
I hate the word. I hate the experience even more.
I wonder if maybe some of you are presently living through a nothing moment?
Expectations unmet? Dry when you expected oasis? Caring has become cursing. Wedding turned to war. Health lost to sickness. Healing only a desire. Nothing.
How do you live through that?
There are several "Nothing" accounts in Scripture that I think we would do well to examine and learn from. If all your dreams are coming to pass and life is all fairytale endings for you, then you are not going to understand or need this series. But for the rest of us maybe this will provide some help if not hope.
In Week 1, we dealt with the nothing experience that the disciples had. They were presented with the challenge to feed a hungry crowd and they had nothing. Jesus uses that situation to publicly expose their nothing so that they would have to rely on Him and on others around them. Then He exposes the lie of lack. The disciples had allowed the size of their need to overwhelm the truth of what they had to offer.
Last week, we talked about the nothing Elijah faced when he prayed for rain only to have his servant come back and say he saw nothing. We learned that in order to make it through the nothings we must believe promise more than the proof. We must remain in the position of prayer and remember that small clouds can produce a huge miracle. You can't overlook the first indication of change because God can make it rain!
So let's go forward. I will have to apologize because I do realize over the course of the last 6 years I have referenced this passage quite a few times. However, when you talk about living through the nothings you cannot leave this passage out. I will hopefully be able to bring some new insight out of it.
Text: 1 Kings 19:1-16
Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the massacre of the prophets. Jezebel immediately sent a messenger to Elijah with her threat: “The gods will get you for this and I’ll get even with you! By this time tomorrow you’ll be as dead as any one of those prophets.” When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, God! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!” Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush. Suddenly an angel shook him awake and said, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and, to his surprise, right by his head were a loaf of bread baked on some coals and a jug of water. He ate the meal and went back to sleep. The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, “Get up and eat some more—you’ve got a long journey ahead of you.” He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep. Then the word of God came to him: “So Elijah, what are you doing here?” “I’ve been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,” said Elijah. “The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.” Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.”A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, “So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?” Elijah said it again, “I’ve been working my heart out for God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, because the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed your places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.” God said, “Go back the way you came through the desert to Damascus. When you get there anoint Hazael; make him king over Aram. Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi; make him king over Israel. Finally, anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.