REV. RUFF BLOG

  • Rev. Franklin Ruff

Gods Space

I grew up in inner-city Detroit on a street called Beverly. Beverly was only one block long and it was one of those streets where almost everybody on the block knew each other.  When I was about eight years old, we had a young man that lived on our block name Calvin. Calvin had to be in his late 20s early 30s. Now, whenever you saw Calvin, he always had a smile on his face. He always seemed to be in a good mood. The thing is Calvin had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he did not let that diagnosis change the essence of who he was. He still had that same smile on his face, and whenever you saw him he always had a kind or encouraging word for you. I can remember sitting in wondering in my young eight-year-old mind, how Calvin could be so happy? What does he have, to be happy about? Another man that lived on our block named Mr. Jamison had the biggest house on the block. He had a lot of nice stuff, He had the most land on the block. He had the nicest car on the block.  In my eyes, he had all anyone could ever want, yet he was mean, crotchety, and angry.  He never had anything positive to say about anybody. I can remember sitting on the front porch one day with my grandfather listening to the Tiger baseball game being called by Ernie Harwell.  I thought about Calvin and Mr. Jamison and the more I thought about these two men, the more questions I had. I decided to ask my grandfather about the two men. I asked him “grandpa, why is it that Calvin is so happy? He’s sick, he doesn’t have a lot of money, he doesn’t wear the best clothes, he doesn’t have the best home. Yet he is always happy. He always has positive things to say. But Mr. Jamison has everything that anybody could want. But he’s mean. Why is that?” My grandfather looked me in my eyes, put his hand over my heart and said, “son, when God created you, when he created me, when he created everybody he created us with a God size space in our hearts, and he is the only one that can feel that space. The reason why Calvin has joy is because he has allowed God to feel that space. The reason why Mr. Jamison is so unhappy is because he has tried to feel his God space with things other than God. He tried to fill it with money, he has tried to fill it with possessions, he’s tried to fill it with status. Mr. Jamison has tried to fill his God size space with everything but God. That is why he is the way he is.

I want to talk about our God space.   Just like my grandfather told me each of us has a God size space in us. The question that we must ask is, what are we filing our God space with. We must understand that while God has created this space within us, to be a place that he inhabits. He will not force himself on us

In high school, I took a physics class.  One of the basic laws of physics is that two objects can not possess the same space at the same time. For example, if I had a glass in my hand and it didn’t have any visible liquid or solid in it, you might say that that glass was empty. But the glass is not empty. In reality, it is full.  It is full of air, but what happens when I poured a liquid into the glass. It pushes the air out so that the liquid can take its place. You can choose to fill your God space with something other than God, but in doing so, you push God out. What are you filling your God space with?

Sometimes people experience a feeling of emptiness and they don’t know why.  They do know that they want that feeling of emptiness to go away. Some people feel lonely. They want the company of another human being. They want to feel loved. They want to feel wanted. In their desire to feel the warmth of another person, and a desire to feel love. Some people will give their very bodies, they will fall into sexual immorality and for a moment the filling of loneliness goes away, but it soon returns because sex has been put in the God space.

Some people are living very difficult lives. There is difficulty at work. There is difficulty in their marriage and other family relationships and they just want to escape it all. So they choose to fill their God space with drugs.  These drugs allow them to get away for a little while,  but when the high ends they returned to reality, the emptiness is still there.

Some people fill their God space with hatred and anger.  They hold grudges against people for so long that they can no longer remember why they are angry. We have all experienced anger, and if we are honest we can admit that sometimes it feels good to express that anger, but we must not allow anger to fill our God space.    The emptiness that we may feel, the incompleteness, the anger can all be filled by God. We just have to allow God and only God to fill our God space.

All of us have a God space within us.  Right now some of you may be putting drugs or alcohol in that space. Perhaps you are filling the space with anger, or discord, or sexual immorality. Allow God to fill your God space and you will find that you can find contentment and peace in even difficult circumstances.

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