The room was quiet as he spoke--you could hear a pin drop. This football coach who had stood before young men for many years–encouraging and guiding them to be good leaders on and off the field. This football coach who has many collegiate honors displayed on his wall and one who is admired and respected by many. And on this night, he stood before an audience during a non-profit organization gathering and he humbly talked about giving. Not giving until it hurts–like the old saying goes. But giving more than is expected.
He told the story about Rebekah and how she not only gave the camels water to drink, but she watered them until they were full. Now a thirsty camel won’t just drink a gallon or so of water. A camel "can drink large amounts of water--up to 20 gallons at a time.” (1)
And then Coach Moore went on to talk about one of King David’s mightiest men, Shammah, who gave of himself and how he stood in the middle of a field of beans and protected the land and David and his people. And God gave him a great victory over the Philistines.
Both gave more than what was expected–what was asked.
It’s New Year’s Day. A New Year. 2021 is past. And here we are again, many of us making new goals, new resolutions–changes. And new goals, resolutions, plans and striving to make changes for the better–they are all good. But most of those if we will be truly honest with ourselves–the changes are focused on “me" and sadly, some are "me only".
Self care and making changes for the better is different than self-obsessed–much different.
I went back and read and studied Rebekah's story deeper and I gained more insight of how Rebekah did much more than what was asked or expected. God’s word is like that. The more we give of ourselves to His story, the more He will fill us with truth and understanding.
The Bible is very visual with Rebekah’s story. (Genesis 24:15-28). She carried her water pot on her shoulder (vs. 15). And she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. (vs. 16). During this time there were many wells in the ground with steps leading down to the water. And not just a few steps–but many steps.
And when Abraham’s servant first saw her at the well, he asked for a drink of water. Rebekah gave him a drink and told him she would give his camels water also–all ten of them. Until they were full. You see, this was a specific prayer of the servant just a few verses earlier.
And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.(Genesis 24:14).
And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. Genesis 24:19
The story also illustrates this young beautiful woman with her vessel. Giving. Serving. And with each step out of the well, she emptied her water pot. Until the camels were full. And read a little further in Rebekah’s story and we learn she offers them a room to stay, food for the camels, and for Abraham’s servant, and the other men that were with him.
Now, think about this, “other men” with the servant. And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him. Genesis 24:32.
Other men! And never once did Rebekah say, how about one of you getting yourself over here and help me to water these camels. If they had--the prayer would not have been answered.
Rebekah, she put "me" aside and filled up her vessel. And she emptied her vessel and she served. Time and time again, she gave. More than what was expected.
In the New Testament the apostle Paul writes, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:17.
We are vessels to be used by God. He gave us treasures in our vessels!!
But a vessel of flour, sugar, salt–none serves the baker’s work if it sits idle on the shelf. Closed. Sealed. Never to be used. The vessels must be poured out and filled again.
And our vessels are the same.
The emptying of “me”.
A new year. A new day. One more breath.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1
"The Emptying of Me" is a series of devotionals that will continue
throughout the month of January on “a beautiful grace.”
Devotionals will be sent to our email subscribers and
appear on "a beautiful grace" Facebook and Instagram pages.
(1) Resource: http://www.loc.gov
All scripture quoted is from the King James Version