I got nothin’


It was during a children’s sermon. Those things can be dangerous if you toss out an open-ended question to a bunch of kids. I did it anyway. I asked, “Can you tell me a favorite character from the Bible other than Jesus?” Pretty safe, right? A few hands were raised and names began to be mentioned:

Abraham – Moses – Mary – David – Goliath – Peter

I waited just a moment to see if any others would be named. I glanced down at the young lady sitting beside me. She looked up at me and said, “I got nothin.’”

Have you ever had one of those days? Of course, you have. Days or moments or seasons when you ‘got nothin’?

He may not have been the first to use the analogy, but Bill Hybels pictured a bucket to represent our lives (Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul). There are relationships and activities than can either fill or drain our lives. The danger of a depleted life can devastate our attitudes and behavior.

We can feel dry and empty because our resources and our energy have not been replenished. We are more susceptible to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, negativity, fatigue, even poor physical health. We are more easily distracted by lesser things. We can isolate ourselves. We can neglect spiritual disciplines. We can easily fall into the “woe is me” doldrums.

Sometimes we have to move past our feelings and cling to assurances, promises, and commitments. Have you ever felt like not going to work? Feel that way long enough and you won’t have to worry about work anymore.

Jesus quoted the Shema in Deuteronomy 6 with this important inclusion: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength” (Matthew 22:37). Love is far more than a feeling; it requires intelligent commitment, an act of the will. Love gets us through when the bucket is draining.

When we ‘got nothin’, we need to remember that the day or the moment or even the season will pass. At the end of his life, Paul trumpeted: “And my God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus!”

We can live with that!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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