“Who is sitting in that empty chair?” – Eugene Ormandy
“Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I’ll tell you a story.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Change defines life. Sometimes it’s more of an inconvenience than a disruption. On other occasions, it can impact us forever.
This kind of transformation happened in my own life about twenty years ago. The change was so sudden and so dramatic that I knew down deep I would never be the same person again.
Every day was a battle and every hour felt like a miserable eternity. I was literally at the end of myself – drained, confused, and frightened about what lied ahead.
I had little energy, so often I found myself lying in bed. Sleep was a mental respite – the only time I could escape the pain and realities of all that was unfolding.
In my bedroom, there was an empty chair. I remember lying in bed and asking God to occupy it. I would talk to that chair as if God were sitting next to me. Like the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote above, I told Him the story of all that was going on, sharing my concerns, my hurts, and all that weighed so heavily on my mind. It was as if He pulled that chair up close, listening to every word and the emotions behind them.
Day or night, every time I looked at that chair in my tiny apartment, I knew He was there – graciously and lovingly present and ready to listen.
I wouldn’t be here today without that empty chair. I not only spent time talking, but many moments listening intently to God’s gentle whisper deep inside. I learned so many things about what was happening to me, the role I played in it all, and the loving, comforting, encouraging words that kept me going each day.
Most importantly, I learned God’s voice those weeks and months and the necessity of inviting Him into that chair and into my life. The transformation that was occurring was two-fold. The horrific events that were unfolding left me changed forever, but so did all those days and nights spent talking to that chair. That experience changed me in more dramatic ways then the tragedy itself.
You see…I grew up attending a parochial school, going to church frequently, and living in a family that honored and loved God. In other words, God was no stranger to me, but He never played an active, participative role in the detailed, intricate parts of my life.
Since then, there isn’t a day or night that goes by without me talking, listening, and asking Him to be at the very center of all that life offers. His presence has made the good times so much sweeter and the bad times less burdensome.
Now let me ask you my friend: Who is sitting in that empty chair in your own life right now?
Here is the thing…it’s NEVER empty 😊 Even those years I paid no attention to that chair in my own life, it was occupied – waiting to be pulled up close to the precipice of all I was dealing with and experiencing at the time.
That empty chair of yours isn’t empty at all.
In fact, He is sitting on the stool in your workshop, smiling at your handiwork, and ready to listen to all your questions and concerns. He is right next to you on the sofa as you knit and crochet – letting you know you are never alone. He was there during the betrayal that changed everything and is with you now in every moment you face.
He is sitting in the passenger seat of your car as you commute to that stressful job – knowing what has brought you to this place, where you are going, and all the lies ahead. He right next to you on the edge of your bed every night, watching over you as you deal with the uncertainty of health issues – letting you know He is involved in it all.
He is even occupying that empty space next to you as you rise to care for a crying baby each night – giving you the strength you need to keep going day after day.
He is with you at the funeral and next to your bed in the hospital. He sat right next to you at the divorce hearing and held your hand tightly as others let it go. He sees and knows all that transpires even if that empty chair seems vacant to you.
But here is the thing my friend, you won’t get the most out of that chair unless you invite Him into it – spending time talking, sharing and listening. He is ready and willing to go deeper into the intricate aspects of all you are experiencing, all that weighs you down, and every uncertainty you encounter.
You see… He is always sitting in that empty chair, but never willing to be intrusive, invasive, or demanding your attention. Like me all those years, He was there but I rarely spoke, infrequently shared, and sporadically listened.
Speaking from experience, that empty chair in your life can be transformational my friend!
Your life could take on a whole new meaning. You could begin to see things and experience things in ways you never have – understanding deeply who you are and gaining insight into areas that currently seem unclear or uncertain.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8 NET Bible
I pray tonight you see that empty chair in your life differently. I hope you talk to it about all that feels overwhelming and burdensome – listening deep inside for His gentle whisper as He responds. As you glance at it daily, I hope you feel the love, forgiveness and grace that is ever-present within it.
When you invite Him into that chair, peace, wisdom, and assurance will follow. You will never be the same again.
I guarantee it 😊
God bless you my friend!