To Die Empty
By Evelyn Jimenez-Saint
Judges 8:4 NKJV “When Gideon came to the Jordan, he and the three hundred men who were with him crossed over, exhausted but still in pursuit.”
I had an extra-long day yesterday, starting with a pastors’ meeting, where I listened to a pastor who had been widowed for ten years, share the difficulties of his second marriage. Another pastor shared his health issues, then a pastor’s wife talked about her rebellious child. At another meeting that day I counseled a woman who was having a serious problem with her adult daughter, and another having problems with her finances. Another lady was having problems with her newly married daughter. Then finally I went to our weekly prayer meeting where I had to finish organize wedding plans with a young couple, talk to a young man who had lost his father that week and welcome a teenager who returned to church after months of absence and personal confusion.
I returned home tired. While I cannot possibly compare myself to Gideon and his men, who had just overcome the Midianite camp and still had to cross the Jordan river and continue battling more enemies, I can understand that feeling. Gideon’s men were tired and hungry but continued in pursuit. They chose to finish their task. Gideon and his small army of three hundred are my examples. Our lives are meant to be used up in the right battles and pursuits.
We cannot quit the battles for our marriages, for our families, for our congregations. We need to learn from these soldiers. Even tired, we have a mission to fulfill with God’s strength and purpose.
A saying says we need to die empty. To do and leave behind all that God has given us to do. To keep nothing for ourselves. To give to others out of our gifts, our resources, our intelligence, and our words of encouragement…. To finish each day knowing we have done our best effort, but tomorrow…. We need to get up again, renewed and strengthened by the Lord, and continue serving.
So we can give all that the Lord has given us to give, and then die empty.