Have you ever been weighed down by a heavy box you’re carrying? The highs of life can fill your boxes with joy and peace, making an overflowingly full box seem weightless. The lows of life can also fill your box; leaving you drained, dejected and disillusioned under the weight of it.
It’s harder to be grateful when you’re anxious. It feels debilitating to be joyful when you’re in a wilderness. It’s exhausting to try and dance in a desert.
My net is empty…
I’m not one for fishing. Actually, I’m not one for sport at all. That being said, I can entirely understand the premiss of waiting for resources to arrive, for the fulfillment of a step of faith to reap a harvest.
“He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. (John chapter 21, verses 5 and 6).
There are moments in life that simply feel like we’ve expended all our energy on trying for ourselves. We try the things that logic and reason say stand to reap reward, we try the things that experience or advice deems appropriate. No matter how much we try to fill our nets on our own, the provision still seems out of our hands.
…and I’ve dropped my fruit!
A persistent search for answers, purpose and provision within ourselves means we have little room in our boxes to carry the things that really matter. The preoccupation on forcing results means we drop the things we should hold onto tightly. Self-reliance means we fall out of step with God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians chapter 5 verses 22 – 24)
Realising we are no longer led by the spirit, that we are no longer exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, is a harsh awakening. It requires us to recalibrate and refocus our attention on God. Allowing God to refill our boxes with the fruit we’ve misplaced along the way.
Sometimes all we need to do is step back and listen. The urge to try and self-resolve, fill our own boxes with things we decide are appropriate can often lead to destruction.
No matter how well-intentioned we are, seeking solutions for ourselves can take us on paths we never intended. This is not to say that we should pray and stand still, but rather ask the Creator of all existence.
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.” (Psalm chapter 5, verse 5).
Whether the box we carry is dragging us down with burdens we do not wish to carry, or whether we have empty nets and don’t see the fruit of God in our lives; our portion is God. Some seasons shed light on the dark places; illuminating the need for our faith to stretch, our character to grow and become more like Him. Letting go of a desire for control and allowing Him to lead will reap greater reward.
An empty box won’t stay empty forever. We can choose not to be afraid when we ask for out boxes to be filled once more. The next steps may not always be easy, but darkness cannot overthrow the light. A mere peep into the box can bring the flood of light in that cannot be contained.
Do not be dismayed by empty boxes, be joyful for the moment that they will be filled once again.
Hailing from South Africa, Crystelda is an avid nerd and an unapologetic dreamer. With a BSc. Biological Sciences and BCom Hons in marketing, she has launched the Christian lifestyle blog - Selah Blogger and is the joint winner of the 2019 International Theology Award. The blog can be found at https://selahblogger.wordpress.com/ and her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/crystelda-naidoo.html