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February 2019 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

Nothing to Offer

February 1, 2019

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” – Isaiah 55:1


There is a sense today, and perhaps in all generations, that we must come to Jesus with something—sometimes that is tangible (money, tears, gifts), sometimes that is emotional (our pain, brokenness, thankfulness). We believe that we can never come empty-handed. Perhaps that is why this verse from Isaiah is so powerful.


There is the implication that we have a need—something so deep that no earthly item or person can provide for us.


Last night I lay awake at night and tried to pray. However, my mind was blank, uncertain what to say or how to say it. What do you need, Laurie? was the whisper in my heart. I need your nearness, God. I need to know you are close to me. That was all I could pray.


We always come to God with a need, don’t we? Good needs, holy needs. Sometimes selfish needs. Even when we can’t utter what those needs are, the very nature of God fills the void we shutter to identify. Romans 8:26-27 reads, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”


Our silence is not God’s silence. Our need—whatever it may be, and however we may or may not identify it—accomplishes what it needs to: it places us firmly in the hands of the One who provides and offers all good things with no strings attached. Isaiah 55 reminds us that when we have nothing to offer to God, we are beckoned to enter his courts. We are summoned into the throne room of grace that knows our hearts at the deepest level.


As I lay there in the wee hours of the night letting the Spirit intercede for me—and honestly not knowing what in the world he was interceding for—I heard this: I know what you need, Laurie. I know.


That is enough. God met me when I had nothing to offer. What about you, friends? How are you finding Jesus in your spoken (or unspoken) need? Are you really believing that you can come to him with nothing but empty hands?