Chapter 13: Spiritual Bankruptcy
You know those times in life where you burn out. You start feeling your body bowing out against your will to push it more. Sometimes you just feel drained from a tough spiritual season. This is one of those times.
This past month has been incredibly challenging. I wrapped up my last two weeks of grad school at the beginning of this month. After conquering an abundance of exams and term papers for my MBA program and graduated Saturday, May 7th! (Won't He do it?!) I'm so overjoyed with how God guided me through my two-year journey and I have to give Him (and everyone who helped along the way) a big THANK YOU!
In being transparent though, graduation Saturday was kind of an 'eh' day for me. I couldn't help but feel a void from not having my dad there. He passed away when I was pretty young while getting his MBA. Graduating was so much bigger for me. I felt I'd picked up the torch to carry on his legacy with earning my degree. Though unspoken, I knew my family that came in town for the ceremony felt the void so I concealed my heaviness as best as I could.
Carrying that weight into the next day, I woke up Sunday morning to head to church with my family. On our way I got a call that my sorority sister had passed away. I couldn't (and still can't) believe it. We live in the same city so she'd made plans to come to my graduation, but given it was Mother's day weekend, she decided to head out of town to see her family. After I got off the phone, I could barely get the words out to tell my sister (we all went to high school together) before having to pull over to let my brother drive the rest of the way.
When we got to church, I couldn't do anything but weep in service. I didn't want my family to see the weight since it was supposed to be a joyous time, but I just couldn't hold it in. I begin to pray in service for comfort.
"Lord, I know you're a comforter and friend during our toughest times, but I'm hurting right now. Is this a test? Tell me something!"
God's response was "I need more from you." I asked "More?! I'm so drained right now, Lord. I don't know what more I can give."
I'm sure many of you have felt this way of "I have nothing left." Even now I'm not sure how I'm able to offer direction at such a low point, but I want to be obedient.
So what do you do?
Declare Chapter 13, that's 1 Corinthians 13. When you have nothing left to give, love.
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Cor 13:13 (NKJV)
When I heard God ask for more I immediately went to time, money, gifts etc. I thought, "Lord, I'm faithful to church and giving. I'm helping in ministry, I give!" But at that moment He wasn't interested in that kind of giving. He was asking for more of my heart-- including the part that was hurting.
The rest of 1 Corinthians goes on to say:
"3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 7 [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails." 1 Cor 13:3, 7-8
It never fails and will never fail because God is love. Where we misplace hope we can supplement with our faith. Where our faith falls short we bridge with love. And where our love lacks, He suffices with His grace. We'll never be spiritual bankruptcy if we always position ourselves to love Him through our pain and frustrations.
Even in this time of celebration and grief, I know His love is a never ending well meant to replenish my heart and mind. When you feel you've got nothing left to give God, I urge you to declare (1 Corinthians) Chapter 13 and let love flood and replenish your bankrupt heart.