Easter candy is full of sweets and one of the favorite items is a chocolate bunny. Often this sweet confection is hollow, a bite into it gives the eater a sense of disappointment. While the chocolate may taste terrific, it is lacking something. Then there are the times when we eat a chocolate rabbit and find the satisfaction of solid chocolate from the first bite. There is substance inside and it’s worth savoring.
Trees can be the same way. They can appear solid and sturdy from the outside and be rotting on the inside. You would never know that the trees are hollow during the sunny days, but when the storm comes and blows with strong winds, the tree easily snaps and falls. There was nothing within the tree to keep it upright, only when it is knocked down do we see what is missing inside.
Each fallen tree can cause damage, falling on cars, houses, fences, and the like. There is a lot of clean up involved, the broken branches, the damaged property, so much to clear so that life will continue moving forward.
When it came to Saul in the Old Testament, he was much like a hollow tree. He looked great on the outside (1 Samuel 10:23-24) but his inside was not honoring to God. He was anointed by God’s servant, Samuel, to be the king of Israel and yet, he couldn’t even obey God’s law for three chapters (1 Samuel 13:8-15, 1 Samuel 15:22). Saul’s heart was hollow, he was missing the true leading of the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t listening and he wasn’t obeying.
Then when we look at David or others who by obedience to the Holy Spirit choose to follow Jesus, no matter what. Second John 1:6 says, And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. We are called to fill our hearts and souls, our minds, and lives with the power of God (Matthew 22:37-39). When we are filled with the presence of God we will be able to withstand strong storms, battles, and all of the things that the enemy will throw at us (Ephesians 6:10-18). All because we are rooted and established in Jesus (Ephesians 3:14-21) the Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18-19).
When I think of all the things the world wants us to fill ourselves with – it all becomes so clear, it’s just stuff. It’s temporal. But filling our lives with Jesus, O Best Beloved, what could be better?