One of the best pieces of info I took away with me from the 2011 ACFW Conference this September in St. Louis odd enoughly wasn't craft related (though Kristen Heitzmann's workshop on Deep Point of View in writing was absolutely the best hands-on stuff I'd learned in awhile!) - but rather, spiritual.
This piece of truth burrowed deep in my heart during the middle of Jenny B. Jone's devotional one morning during breakfast. I sat there with a croissant in one hand and a yogurt parfait in the other, but was filled with the musings of the Holy Spirit speaking through her.
Jenny told the story in the Bible of the widow woman who had nothing to her name. No husband, no money, no food. Debtors were coming. She was literally about to shut her doors and allow her and her kids to die because - what choice did she have? She had nothing. She sought out the prophet Elisha, who told her to gather bottles and jars and jugs from all her neighbors and take them into her home. And start pouring.
She could have laughed, she could have mocked and scorned, thinking how useless the scenario would be.Could have moaned and complained and said "hey, couldn't you just give me some bread instead?" But she didn't. She obeyed. She got bottles and jars and jugs, locked herself in her house with her sons as instructed, and started pouring.
The oil didn't stop until every last vessel was filled. She sold the oil, paid her debts, and lived on the rest.
Jenny turned the parable back around on us. On our writing, on our struggles, on our daily lives. Our marriages. Our hopes and dreams. Our goals. Our schoolwork and friendships. When we're at the most bleak, when we truly have NOTHING, God says "I can work with that."
I still get shivers. :)
I'm holding that truth close today. When I have nothing, when I'm empty and poured out and drained and can't go on, God is there, waiting to use my obedience and faith in ways I could never have imagined or acccomplished on my own. All I have to do is start pouring.
Jenny's devotional was also hilarious, because really, the woman can't even say hi without making you giggle (she's the most humorous YA author I know! Check out her books!!) but it was deep. Profound. Touching. Inspirational.
And left me reeling even weeks later.
I hope this simple message touches you today too...