How Can I Be Filled?


The day after our first son was born via emergency c-section, my husband washed my hair. I didn’t have the strength or stability to do it by myself. I remember my entire body trembling and using his steadiness to support my wobbly frame.

Extending himself in that selfless act of service is one of the most loving things he’s ever done for me. Whenever I look back on our eight years of marriage, that memory stands out in my mind and warms my heart.

The thing is, if I hadn’t been on the operating table the previous day, I probably never would have accepted his help.

I am stubborn that way. I will serve others until I am bone dry and squelched in spirit, but if I ask for a favor in return I feel needy or indebted.

But we are all needy and indebted, aren’t we? How easily we often deceive ourselves into thinking we are self-sufficient when in fact, we are all beggars in need of grace and mercy.

While our human nature often makes us want to withhold grace, Jesus freely gives it. We need only to ask.

In John 13, Jesus and his disciples are celebrating the last Passover Feast before He will be crucified. Jesus knows what awaits him. He knows he will endure a cruel betrayal, one of his men will deny him three times, and that he will die a painful death while his people mock him.

And yet, despite all of this, he performs an act so selfless and humble that it makes his disciples uncomfortable. He washes their filthy, no doubt foul-smelling feet.

When Peter objects, Jesus says,

“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” John 13:8 NIV

I get it, Peter. Really, I do. Here was the Lord of the universe in the flesh, kneeling down and doing something only a house servant would do, willingly and without being asked. How would you react? I’m sure my reaction would be similar to Peter’s, with lots of female exclamation behind it.

It simply didn’t make any sense at the time, but Jesus knew exactly what he was doing.

As I read the account today, the Spirit spoke directly to my heart.

Once we realize we have nothing to offer God but sin and filth, his Spirit can fill us.

He fills us once we empty out all of the murk left in us by the world.

So often, when I reflect on all Jesus did for me and read about his great sacrifice, I want to do something for Him in return. But Christ already did the work for me on the cross. It is finished.

Anything I can offer is because of his great love, the Spirit living in me.Β 

So go to him needy. God to him asking for his help. Empty out all of the sin, the anger and frustration, the bitterness and fatigue. Ask him to forgive you for trying to carry that weight on your own. He is more than willing to cast it away and remember it no more.

And then, as an empty vessel, free from all of the dirt and murkiness of the world that soiled those feet, He can fill you. He can fill you until you are overflowing.

Overflowing with Love that you can go pour into the life of someone who needs it.


*Linking up with Suzie EllerΒ and Equipping Godly Women today. Come visit and be encouraged.


Equipping Godly Women

31 thoughts on “How Can I Be Filled?

  1. Thank you for the encouragement and truth that “He fills us once we empty out all of the murk left in us by the world.” I so long to be emptied of all that this world has polluted me with so that I can be filled only with Jesus! #LiveFreeThursday πŸ™‚


    • Thank you so much for stopping by today, Sarah. I believe this a truth I will have to learn over and over again. I’m so grateful for his patience and grace.


  2. Abby,
    I was brought up in the stubborn school of self sufficiency. It comes as no surprise, then, that it took a long time for me to accept the grace that Jesus was willing to pour into my life if I’d only empty out the “murk” the world deposits in us. How glorious though it is to be less of me and more of Him!! Wonderful post!!
    Bev xx


    • Oh yes, I am familiar with that school. πŸ˜‰ I believe we can spend a lifetime learning this truth, but I’m so grateful that his grace is sufficient. Thank you, Bev. Much love to you, friend.


  3. I love this post!!!! I needed this today as a reminder that only God can make me strong and loving. I am nothing without Him and I have nothing to offer others without Jesus moving in me and through me.


  4. 23 years ago I had cancer and after surgery Richard gently washed my hair, blow dried it, and applied makeup to my face. We had been hit with so much bad news and so much treatment that I felt lost. That one act was selfless and unasked for, but he was letting me know that he was with me, and that I was still me as I lay there with tubes and bandages and swollen from meds. How amazing that our Savior wants to gently wash away our sins and shame and hurts to remind us of who we are.


  5. I love that you linked up with Suzie! Good for you to be able to write on a prompt in one day! πŸ™‚ I can so relate to serving others til you’re bone-dry, but being reluctant to accept help. Oh let’s take our sinful selves to Jesus so we can be filled. Thanks for these words.


  6. This really resonates, Abby. And I too had an emergency c-section with my first born… and a very long recovery due to complications that nearly killed me but that’s another story entirely, lol. But what I love is that like all the people who had to help me get back to a normal routine and good health, God too is there for the long haul, He loves to get into the middle of our mess, and begin healing and restoration, sometimes with an act as simple as washing our feet… and begin to fill us, as you said, with that amazing covenant love!
    So grateful to our CBCE group that allowed me to discover your fabulous blog.


    • Me too, Christine! This group has been such a blessing to me already. Yes, he does meet us right in the middle of our mess and I’m so grateful for his grace.


  7. “Once we realize we have nothing to offer God but sin and filth, his Spirit can fill us.”
    I so need His filling day by day and hour by hour. “Apart from Him, I can do nothing!” Thank you for sharing your heart.


  8. This is something I often struggle with but am actively working to change (not only for myself, but because I don’t want my daughter to learn my bad habits). We think there is no way someone would accept us if they knew this or that, let alone love and cherish us. I find myself mistakenly thinking that about God sometimes. How could He possibly love me with all my flaws? But He does. My Bible verse for the day yesterday was, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What an amazing, immeasurable love He has for us. I truly love this post. I continue to be blessed by your writing. Thank you.


    • I have mistakenly believed God wouldn’t accept me too, Kristi. I’m so glad he finally got a hold of me and will never let me go, despite my stubbornness at times. πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a fantastic weekend!


  9. Thank you Abby! I relate so closely with this and see how my stubbornness makes me miss out on His fullness. Great reminder!


  10. I so can relate to your feelings of wanting to do for others but resisting others that may one to help me. I don’t want to viewed as a beggar or needy. What a revelation! I am already a beggar,asking for God’s grace and mercy. Ha! So true. Thanks for reminding me. I have been working on letting go of this pride of mine and start letting God’s servant help me when I need it.


    • Yes, I am learning we were made for community and that when I let others help me, it actually blesses them as well. I’m a work in progress. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Mary.


  11. This was such a good read! Thank you! I’m so thankful that I’ve come to a place in my life where I KNOW that I cannot do it alone. I have to let God come along with me…and He so eagerly does! Blessings!


  12. I am very glad that God know what we need, He gives us our daily manna, our needs and sometimes our wants, but at least our needs are meet. We must totally give our all to Him. Nice post. I saw your blog from the CBCE on Google. God Bless and keep up blogging for God.


  13. God knows exactly what we need and never fails to give us that which will turn our hearts even closer to His. Can’t help but think of how as we empty ourselves of ourselves, it please His heart because then He can fill it with more of His glory and treasure.


    • Amen, Jeannie. Yes, the emptying of ourselves is something I’ve reflected on a lot lately. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. A pleasure to hear from you.


  14. I’m so glad you shared what the Lord spoke to you while reading this account. It helps me and brings that “aha” moment into my own thinking as I work through the book of John. Thank you for that.


  15. I just loved this. Beautifully written and such a great perspective. We really need to stop trying, don’t we, and just let Him fill us…… Such a simple thing, but so humbling and difficult to do. I loved the example of you letting your husband serve you, but without an operation the day before, that might not have happened. That made me smile! God gave you a beautiful picture of His mercy and grace and filling to you in that scenario. Thank you for sharing it with us!


    • Yes, God uses the people in our life to show us his love so much, doesn’t he? I’m so thankful that he doesn’t let my stubbornness stop him. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for stopping by!


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