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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Monday, June 18, 2012

When Life’s Not Working

“When life’s not working, when our relationships aren’t the way we wish they could be, we feel empty inside.”
 ~Dr. Tim Clinton
It is a sad fact in all our lives, that, from time to time, even for entire seasons on end, the hope that compels us forward is continually frustrated and unrealised.
And notwithstanding our faith, with copious reminders that we are not to complain, we still find these irrevocable feelings welling up from within to a point we can no longer deny them. Even the most ardent preacher or leader has times of emptiness. Yes, even Christ felt empty.
Admitting Our Weakness – Admitting Our Emptiness
Whilst much of the world believes in stoicism, the ability to push on through, as if to fire the furnace of resilient flexibility, the Christian mandate is much more effective.
Using a very Pauline method—the theology of the apostle Paul—we can draw on the understanding that God is for us, not against us, in every circumstance of life. Even in our emptiness, when there are so many reminders of broken, unsteady, faltering, and untrusting relationships, with each one reminding us somehow of our own frailties, God’s power is there to be drawn upon.
But we only draw on Divine power in our weakness by admitting our weakness; by admitting our emptiness. There is no sin in feeling empty. Indeed, if only we would be emptied of ourselves more often there would be more room for God to fill us.
What Do We Do About Life When It Isn’t Working?
These ironies that we notice just as easily work for us. We are blessed just as much in our emptiness as at any time. When life isn’t working as we’d like it to, we are called higher to a sharp cognisance of God. Where the world cannot satisfy, God can.
Upon a fresh reading of Romans chapter 8, especially in our dearth, as we dig deeply into our raw and honest emotion, God speaks hope back through into our lives.
Perhaps we are only more discernibly reachable as we approach our rock bottom, when there is no strength left for dishonesty and worldly distraction.
When life’s not working and we present before God as needy, God transforms our neediness into power for hope for yet another day. One day at a time our hope moves for us, almost too silently and too gradually to see. One day at a time our dispositions change. And one day at a time we problem solve and do what we can to remove the barriers to a satisfying life.
When life isn’t working, and we feel empty inside, coming ever closer in our need is our Lord who resurrects us, afresh. The more we need God the more we are helped.
When we feel empty there is more room for God to fill us.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.


  1. I agree, we need God. But we also need help with learning how to let God heal our relationships with others. Jesus told us to love God and love others. But sometimes, we don't know how to love others well--we end up in broken relationships. But it is possible to find healing. That's what Dr. Clinton is talking about in the quote you opened with. Here's a link to an article I wrote, based on what I learned from his new book, Break Through: When to Give In, How to Push Back. I'd love to hear what you think of the article. http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-and-Break-Free-of-Relational-Enmeshment

  2. The great thing about quotes like the one I used, above, is they can help to reveal God's truth in a myriad of contexts. Directed by God, I have chosen one of those contexts to write from.
    Thank you, Keri, for your feedback.


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