Oh, to be full!
That anticipated satisfying of an empty stomach. Contentment after insatiable hunger. Is it but a glimpse of all we will be encompassed by in heaven? There is a constant, fleshly battle to fill and satisfy each and every need and longing. What or who do we seek to find such contentment? And does it last or are we frequently revisiting our source to refill?
I am completely satisfied by His filling. I am comforted by His Holy Spirit residing within my vessel. Yet, He causes me to hunger. He sees my need to be better, more sanctified, more holy, and He allows me to bend, stretch, and sometimes break. His Hands make me better, placing all the pieces I have scattered back together where they belong. He even adds new pieces that I didn’t have before. When He does this I glimpse fleeting fullness and hunger for more. Over and over again, I long to be full of Him. I often long to be full of Him the way my 5-year-old is full of Him. Unabashed, pure, tangible, unapologetic love for Jesus. The kind of love that overrides acceptable social norms. The kind of love that comes out at just the right moment, like in the silence right before a prayer at a big family gathering for Thanksgiving dinner…..
As heads bow, eyes close and breath is stilled awaiting the spoken prayer, a 5-year-olds’ voice rings out, pure as golden honey from a hive, “Nana, come here.” Everyone seated around the table focuses their attention, watching with anticipation. What will be said to Nana? She makes her way around the crowded table.
Now you must know Nana to understand the question she is about to receive. Nana is sweet, kind, ever-patient, playful and adventurous. Alongside any one of her many grandsons (because she has not a single granddaughter), she is often known as the dread pirate Nana wearing an eye patch and weaving a sword (a paper towel roll), taking over a ship on the high seas (the fluffy white comforter of her bed), full of treasures (throw pillows). Or some days you may glimpse sheriff Nana topped in her suede cowboy hat and handkerchief covering her face only to see her squinted eyes as she rides her trusty steed (broom), and wrangles bank robbers with lassoes (blankets), in the dusty Wild West (her family room). She is forever beloved in the hearts of her grandsons. However, there is but one fault in one particular grandsons’ eyes: “Nana must be in heaven with me one day,” he prays each night before bed. She does not claim Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Let us refocus our attention on the moment of silence before the prayer at Thanksgiving dinner. With anticipation, elbow to elbow, the crowded table looks on as Nana makes her way over to him. And her grandson says, “come here” motioning as if he will whisper something in her ear. Then he says in “5 year-old-kid-whisper” (which is really normal voice in case you are unfamiliar), “Nana, do you know Jesus?”
A split-second of sheer terror flashed across Nana’s face as the on-lookers’ silence turned to uncomfortable shifting in chairs and unsettled clearing of throats. “Well yes, honey,” she reassured him. Her grandson’s mind eased as he asked to say the prayer, “Thank You Jesus for Nana. Help her to come to heaven with us.” Shortly thereafter as tradition calls for, each one around the table mentions what they are thankful for. That particular grandson simply says, “Nana.”
In his heart, my son found a fullness believing his Nana loved Jesus and would be in heaven with him. At the same moment, Nana felt an emptiness, maybe a longing to be full, as revealed gently by The Shepherd, using one of His precious lambs to do the work.