Hunger Part 1: Empty Yourself

“If you don’t give me a place to go by the time the weather cools off,” she threatened God like a three year old, “I’m going to that church!”

Ever since she had encountered Jesus months before,she had been seeking people who understood what she had experienced. People who knew Jesus personally – not just about Him. People who were excited about Him and where He was an integral part of their everyday lives. She knew these people existed because she had read about them. And the more she read about them the hungrier she got for that kind of fellowship. She also knew that the church she passed each Sunday night around 7 PM was probably filled with such people. But she had been raised in a denomination that frowned upon visiting other denominations and so, not finding what she needed in her local church, she had begun praying that God would fill that need in another church.

As she frequently did, she grew impatient waiting for God to act so she decided that as soon as the weather was cool enough to wear long pants instead of shorts in her non-air conditioned car (in her experience people didn’t wear shorts to church), she would check out that church. Even if it was a bit like running away from home.

A month later, just before the weather would begin to cool, while at a church, she again prayed for a place to praise and worship and celebrate Jesus like she craved. As she prayed, she heard in her spirit, “Empty yourself like an earthen vessel, and I will fill you.”

“Um, OK. I don’t know what that means, but I accept it,” she told God.

When the service ended, she made her way to the bathroom before leaving for the long drive home. The bathroom was crowded but she found one unoccupied stall. On the tank lid, she saw a green book. Some kind of directory she thought, and took it with her when she left the bathroom. Sure enough, it was a directory of all the charismatic prayer groups in her denomination in the state. She checked the city where she lived and worked during the week – nothing. She checked the city she traveled to every weekend to visit her parents – again nothing. Disappointed she closed the book and was about to set it down for someone else to find when, on a whim, she decided to check the city she drove through every Sunday night on her way back to her home city.

 

She didn’t have much hope because she had noticed most groups met mid-week. What were the chances of finding a group in that specific city, on that specific day, at that specific time? But she went ahead and looked. Then stared in amazement! There WAS such a group. And they were called Earthen Vessels! No kidding!

She drove all the way home filled with amazement at God’s faithfulness – and His sense of humor. The bathroom, Lord? Empty myself… in the bathroom?  And now He would fill her need with this prayer group!

She would soon discover that finding the directory was the easy part. What she had to do next would take all the strength and courage she had.

To be continue.

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