When Your Life Feels Empty

When Your Life Feels Empty

by Wayne Stiles


My dad used to have an old pickup truck I would borrow for odd jobs.

It wasn’t a good-looking truck, but it was faithful. The only glitch in the deal was the gas gauge. It read “almost empty” no matter how much gas you had.

When Your Life Feels Empty When Your Life Feels Empty

(Photo by Rick Harris from Whiby, Ontario, Canada. Uploaded by PDTillman. CC-BY-SA-2.0)

If you had just filled up, it read “almost empty.” If you had half a tank, it read “almost empty.” The gauge only worked when you were out of gas! It would immediately move from “almost empty” to “empty.” I remember once I coasted into a gas station on fumes and a prayer.

I have found one thing in life that cuts the cable from the gas tank to the gas gauge quicker than anything else.

  • It drains your relationships with people and dries up your walk with God.
  • It blurs your vision, exaggerates your emotions, and takes a healthy, balanced perspective of life and twists it of proportion.

I’m talking about the pervasive and infectious attitude of bitterness.

You can be riding along with a full tank, but bitterness will show you a gauge “almost empty.”

Using the Wrong Gauge

What attitude would you adopt if you lost your spouse, children, money, home, and means of income?

You might respond as one woman did:

Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara (“bitter”), for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me? —Ruth 1:20-21

Naomi was honest. Life feels empty when our expectations aren’t met.

She said God had made her life very bitter and had brought misfortune on her. She left her hometown with her husband and sons but returned “empty.” Ironically, she did not return alone. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, returned with her.

Notice where Naomi focused. In these two verses she refers to herself eight times (really; count them): “me, me, me, I, me, me, me, me.”

When we gauge life through our expectations, we’ll always be running on empty. (Tweet that.)

Hillman Minx Interior 002 When Your Life Feels Empty

(Photo by I, 天然ガス GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bitterness Leaves a Bad Taste in Your Mouth

But let’s don’t be too hard on Naomi. When life feels empty, it’s easy to lick our wounds. But it leaves a bitter taste. Bitterness over life’s tragedies can blur our perspective to where the whole world revolves around us.

In the midst of our pain and disappointment with God, it’s easy to overlook what we really have.

Contrast the statement Naomi made with the words spoken later by the women of the town:

  • Naomi: “The LORD has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:20).
  • Women: “Your daughter-in-law . . . loves you and is better to you than seven sons” (Ruth 4:15).

Bitterness Dulls Your View of Reality

When life feels empty, how often do we beg and plead for God to give us something—a mate, a child, more money, physical healing—when we already may be fuller than we would be if God gave us what we wanted?

By denying our request, God actually may be giving us more than we ask for. (Tweet that.)

Eventually we will understand God’s purpose for our pain (for some, only in heaven), and we will praise Him for it. A life of faith will praise Him ahead of time, trusting Him when even when life feels empty. Through trust in God, bitterness loses its grip on our hearts.

You may be feeling like that old pickup truck. From all appearances, you are running on empty.

But in fact, you may be spilling over.

Questions: Has He ever opened your eyes to your blessings in a surprising way?

About ptl2010

Jesus Christ is coming soon
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When Your Life Feels Empty

  1. ptl2010 says:

    O praise The Lord He supplies our needs even when we do not deserve and do not appreciate. His Word says in everything give thanks. When we acknowledge The Lord in our lives, in thanksgiving, that is when we invite His Presence and feel the difference as we abide in Him and bear fruit, and feel rich again in Him. Thankfully, God is good, no matter how we feel. Faithful to the end.


  2. April says:

    Love this post. My small group just finished a study on Ruth this past week.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.