It was such a simple question: “How are you doing?”
My body shook as the tears flowed down in waves. I was scared. I felt helpless. I was in pain. And I felt so alone.
My girlfriend wrapped her arms around me and prayed out loud for God’s comfort. I’d been asked that question so many times lately and I had at least four different versions of the same answer: “Fine.” That means, fine – I know you’re just politely asking. Fine – If I tell you how I really feel you’ll avoid me next time. Fine – I don’t have the strength to open myself up to you. Fine – I want to hide and not talk to anyone.
But this question was real, and I knew my answer would bring prayer right then, and prayers that would continue.
As I cried and she prayed I felt some of the pain lift, and a touch of God’s peace fill and calm me.
The memory came back to me as I read Sarah Young’s Devotional Jesus Calling for November 2. She wrote, “Grow Strong in the Light of My Presence. Your weakness does not repel Me. In the contrary, it attracts My Power, which is always available to flow into a yielded heart. Do not condemn yourself for your constant need of help. Instead, come to Me with your gaping neediness; let the Light of My Love fill you.”
Looking back I will tell you that 2011 was the worst year and the best year of my life. It taught me that to be poor in spirit is to be utterly and completely available to be filled with God’s presence. It taught me that God wills us to let others into our lives to help bear our burdens…our “gaping neediness.” Indeed, my gaping neediness allows God’s people to respond to his words, “Now that you have purified yourself by obeying the truth so you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22
Have you experienced the blessing of your empty spirit being filled with God’s peace? How have you responded to others who have tried to give comfort?