When You Find Yourself… Empty

Empty bucket

If you are in a position that is constantly asking you to give of yourself- doctor, nurse, pastor, teacher, mother, father, and others- you may at times find yourself empty.

Some years ago, we had a program used by our faculty and staff to “fill up our buckets.” The promoter of the program gave us a demonstration of a small pail being filled to the brim one drop at a time to illustrate how we can stay full by dropping compliments and praises into each other’s “buckets.”

The words must be genuine and concrete like, “I appreciate the way you …

Have your students pick up before I vacuum your room.”
Collaborate with other teachers.”
Arrive at work on time everyday.”
Contributed that idea yesterday at our meeting.”

We had little sheets of paper in the shape of drops. Some mornings we would find a “drop” or two in our teacher’s mailbox. This started our day on a positive note and made us feel appreciated, good about the work we were doing.

We did this for quite a while. It lifted each of us up and we felt great doing it. We were full. There was a bounce in our step and strength for the day. The principal liked the atmosphere it engendered at our school and strongly encouraged us to keep it up.

Then the novelty wore off and we’d forget to write them. Or we’d write something just to say we did it. Insincerity killed the program. Sucked the life-giving moisture right out of it.

We kept doing our jobs, giving of ourselves at work and took stuff home to do. You don’t know you are draining out slowly until you are empty.

Then I realized something. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make sure I am replenished. It is my responsibility.

I realized something else, too. Real fullness doesn’t come from other people; it comes from God.

I can be replenished every morning by drinking in God’s Word and praying.  In the praying, I must take time to listen. Tune out every noise and stop talking. Just listen to Him. It might take a few minutes to totally tune out the world and my own wants and needs, but it is so worth it to sense the Presence of the Lord. The day begins on a positive note and my “bucket” is full. There is a bounce in my step and strength for the day.

A compliment from a colleague for something well done is still welcome and very much appreciated, but not necessary.

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭9-10‬ NKJV)

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭16‬ NKJV)

When you find yourself empty, tap into Him and receive His fullness. His life giving water will fill your bucket to the brim and running over.

Bucket poem

 

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