Feeling Empty?


“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you,” (Luke 6:38 NIV).

A sign was posted on a telephone pole by the grocery store: LOST DOG with three legs, blind in left eye, missing right ear, tail broken and recently castrated. Answers to the name of “Lucky!”

Perhaps as you’ve had times in your life when you’ve felt about that lucky! You’ve wondered how you can help someone else or encourage someone else when you feel so empty.

There was a woman in the Bible who knows just how you feel. She also felt that she had nothing left to give, but God showed her how to get filled up. The story is found in 1 Kings Chapter 17.

Elijah was a good prophet who gave some bad news to a king named Ahab: “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” God knew that news would not go over very well with the King, so He told Elijah to flee eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan. For several months, Elijah drank from the brook and ate bread and meat delivered by ravens that God miraculously provided. (Talk about fast food!) Only Kings could afford to eat meat every day, and God provided the very best for his servant.

Sometime later, the brook dried up. Now if God could supply meat and bread every day, He could have easily provided water. But God had a different idea. He sent Elijah to Zarepath to a Gentile widow who needed a miracle in her life.

Elijah did as the LORD said and traveled to this widow’s home. But he didn’t find a woman with abundance ready to provide sustenance. No, what he found was a widow who had given up on life and felt as though she had nothing left to give. When he arrived, she was stooping to the ground picking up sticks and placing them in a bundle.

“Excuse me,” Elijah called, “could you please bring me a cup of water?”

As she turned to get the traveler a cup to quench his thirst, he continued. “Oh, and can you bring me a piece of bread?”

With this request, I imagine the woman sarcastically grumbled. And would you like a lamb chop to go along with it?

“I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug,” she said. “I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it – and die” (1 Kings 17:12).

Now that was a discouraged woman! But Elijah had good news for her.

“Don’t be afraid,” Elijah said. “Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’”

She went away and did what Elijah had told her.

Can’t you just see this woman taking the last bit of flour and oil to make Elijah a meal? What difference does it make? I’m going to die anyway? So what if it’s one day early?

She took the last bit of flour and oil, made and delivered Elijah a little cake, and returned home. As she goes to wash the dirty dishes, she picks up the jar and the jug and her senses are jostled! The jar is full of flour and the jug is to the brim with oil. She was an empty woman, but as she took what little she had to offer encouragement to another, God filled her up.

Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you,” (Luke 6:38). When you give to others, reach out to others, pour into the lives of others, God is standing by ready to fill you up.

So if you are feeling empty today, here’s a suggestion: give to someone else. Encourage a co-worker. Help a struggling friend. Minister to a homeless person. Open the door for a stranger.

What happened to the woman from Zarephath? “For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah” (1 Kings 17:16).

Let’s Pray
LORD, I feel pretty empty today. But I’m going to get my focus off of myself and onto someone else. Show me someone who needs a helping hand or an encouraging word today. Help me to use a big measuring cup as I pour out Your love on others today.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
I encourage you to go back and read 1 Kings 17 today. It is a great story!

Then make a list of 5 ways you can bless someone else today.

I’d love to hear how God filled you up after you poured out. Leave a comment and tell me what happened!

12 Responses to Feeling Empty?

  1. Solomon odiniya April 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Thanks pastor sharon. I read your devotional and the lord has used it to. minister to my spirit. Am happy. And am sharing this devotional with my friends on facebook too. Thank u pastor ,God bless u . Solomon from Lagos, Nigeria

  2. Kara Payne April 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Thank you for your enlightening message. I greatly appreciate the hope that has been restored in my heart through your message. Thank you for sharing the word of our Lord. May you be blessed all your days.

  3. Harriet E. Gardner April 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi Pastor Sharon, Thank you ever so much for your message today. Before I left for work I encouraged my husband. My flesh had another plan, but God plan prevailed. Your message confirmed I am walking in the light and being salt to the earth. Now I am remained that God is not only filling me up, but giving me overflow of energy and spiritual knowledge to continue to witness the good news to others.
    God bless you for reaching out girlfriend; have a blessed and highly favored day.
    Your sister in Christ
    Harriet E. Gardner

  4. Priscilla Kamati April 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Dear Pastor Sharon,

    I cannot list all God have done in my life through you, I cannot even make a half list. I have learned a lot, I have gained knowledge and God have given me revelations mostly when I was busy reading what you wrote for girlfriends in God.

    Be blessed, May the favour of Lord flow over you

  5. Delica April 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    i just felt that I needed to share with you that your devotional touched me in a profound way. I know that God has placed a calling on me to be a encourager of his word. I trust God to equipped me with the knowledge to do so. However there are times when I truly need that encouragement to. And that is when the Lord always provides a word for me . I know that he has done so today thru your devotion on Feeling Empty. I to often wonder what I have to offer for the kingdom of God. And being the Great God he is always fills me up with just the right thing at the right time. I have truly tasted that the Lord is good.
    Thank you for your encouragement. Delica from MS

  6. Marjorie April 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Thank you ever so much for sending me these weekly messages. They really do make me take the extra time to think and appreciate what I have in the love of Our Father . Sometimes we need little reminders just to allow ourselves to take the time for us. Each day seems so busy yet seldom does anything really important ever get accomplished, just day to day routines. Thank you for keeping in touch with me and encouraging me to keep going even though many times I know I am not the mother, wife, co-worker, friend that I aught to be. Thank you for helping me Hang On.

  7. Sharon Newmann April 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I agree. When I feel empty, I know it’s time for a re-fill of God’s Word, so I can share with someone or in my writing how God has helped me. I also learned that when I give my little talent or money to God, He repays beyond my expectations! Praise God!

    • Sharon Newmann April 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

      Dear Sharon,
      I agree. When I feel empty, I know it’s time for a re-fill from God’s Word. I can then share with someone how God has helped me. Also, when I give my small talent to Him, He abundantly repays!

  8. Kristin April 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    This was so wonderful to read! I have a perfect example of how I learned about filling another’s cup in order to fill mine.
    Last year, I was in a terrible car accident, where someone had been speeding, and rammed into my car as I was turning in another lane. My mother came and picked me up, and on the way back, we stopped for gas at a station next to a McDonald’s. At that area, there is a Greyhound bus station that a group of homeless men live at. As my mom parked, she looked at the group of men, and said, “Does it sound crazy that I feel like God is telling us to buy some food for those men, even after what you’ve been through today?” I felt a great sense of peace, and told my mom how oftentimes, after a tough day at University, I stop for gas, and pick up some hamburgers for the men. We talked after that about how we felt so blessed because even though I was in a car accident, we still have so many things to be thankful for. God works in such wonderful mysterious ways, huh? 🙂

  9. Nancy April 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Please pray for me and my daughter that our relationship can be healed. Help me know how to let her really know I love her and always have. Help her to see the many ways the Lord is working in her life.

  10. Shirley May 4, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    My husband went to be with the Lord eight months ago and I have a large home and land. I had a hot water heater stop working today and a precious brother from Church came and replaced it for me. I only had a little cash but gave it to him for gas and for what he did for me and I am believing the Lord to take care of me and trusting Him to show me direction as far as my home, etc…Believing His promises and just like this widow, I am trusting Him to take care of me. I pray God’s blessing to continue in your ministry..It certainly has blessed me Sharon..Your devotions are really ministering to me..God bless you!

  11. Shirley May 4, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    I am believing that in the future God will bring me a partner to be my husband who will stand back to back with me, for He says two are better than one, against the enemy and to serve the Lord to bring fruit into God’s kingdom! I thank Jesus for being the truest husband we could have but he made Eve to Adam because of his loneliness and I believe marriage is God made and a good thing…Please pray for me in this area and that God will direct me in all His ways in the future…

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