What’s a Bucket to Do?

jesusneedsnewpr.netI keep thinking of myself as that leaky bucket.  I marvel at the fact that I don’t need to put myself into God’s ocean of love; I’m already there.

The first illusion, which I talked about last week, is that I need to fix my holes to be useful to God. The second is that I could ever be empty of God.

When I open myself to God, I do not let in more of God. I am already full of God. Instead, I open myself to the reality that I am in God.

When Darrell Johnson taught at Regent College, he once said in a sermon on John 17, “We are in God and God is in us,” then added with a wondrous sigh, “and you can’t get much closer than in.” 

Jesus prayed that we would be one with the Father in the same way he is. God answered that prayer through Jesus’s death and resurrection. Yet we keep living as if nothing has changed. Father Thomas Keating, a Benedictine monk, said, “The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from Him. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced.”

Yes. That thought makes me thrash about, frantically trying to keep myself afloat. Jesus smiles. “Let yourself sink into my love. Abide in me and I will bear fruit in you.”

I imagine myself again as that leaky bucket sinking into an ocean of love, not fixing or accomplishing or becoming… anything. I feel peaceful.

But it doesn’t take long before my ego asks, “So, what are you doing here?”

The answer comes to me in the middle of the night: I am “doing” the will of God. As I rest in God’s love, I am fulfilling all God wants me to do with my life. 

Out of this resting, out of God’s fullness comes surrender to God’s will. I can surrender from a place of being immersed in love because I know that God is attending to my needs. My ego can relax: God is my creator, saviour, and sanctifier. 

Here in God’s ocean of love, with my ego asleep beside me, I am free to do whatever pleases God.


Abide in me as I abide in you. John 15:4 (NRSV)

I have been unable to find the original artists who created the pictures of  the girl with Jesus and “Breath” (the calm ocean image).  Please contact me if you are or know the artist.
Darrell Johnson is lead pastor at First Baptist Church in Vancouver.
Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart. (Warwick, NY: Amity House, 1986), 44.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2014
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014  http://www.estherhizsa.wordpress.com.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Helpful Images, Popular Posts, Poverty of Spirit and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s a Bucket to Do?

  1. Esther, Love it, love it, love it! Thanks for your timely insights into my own little messes! Blessings!


  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    Thanks, Liane. I love how God orchestrates the timing of things. And glad I am not the only leaky bucket in the sea. You’re beautiful!


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