It always comes to mind now when I water my flowers, how the bucket is just an empty vessel to carry life-giving water from the faucet to the thirsty plants. Our author-mentor Elizabeth used that illustration to explain the way our lives are the vessels God uses to carry His love into the lives of others. Us holding up empty buckets and filling with His endless supply of love, and then taking it to those who are thirsty; becoming the hands and feet and smiles and words that make God’s love tangible to the world. Then back again for More, because if it all works the way it should, buckets will get empty as fast as you fill them. The needs are endless. Fortunately, the Supply is everlasting.
The very first step in this bucket brigade is admitting that you are empty. And its no use trying to fill up with with everything you find along the way. Buckets are only valuable if they are empty and ready to be filled with what the Gardener desires. It’s hard to admit my need; empty feels broken, seems wrong…but You say it is the beginning of something very right and good. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) It is the same paradoxical truth that Paul discovered: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me….For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) When I am empty, then I can be filled with His love.
Mostly, a bucket just needs to be available whenever the Gardener wants to use it. It’s a good choice to make at the beginning of a new week, to present ourselves as empty buckets. It doesn’t seem like much. It’s how a bucket is used that makes its life so meaningful.
“Hungry I come to You for I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know Your love does not run dry
So I wait for You…
I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for.”
(Hungry, Kathryn Scott)