Filling The Void

Tuesday, December 22, 2020
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Listen while you read: "O Come All Ye Faithful"1 (Lyrics)

Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (ESV)

Some time back, I watched a programme on television called Antiques Roadshow, which Caroline encouraged me to take in. I say "encouraged" but in reality, it was more of an expectation of husbandly compliance for a quiet life. The programme is very popular amongst a certain section of the UK populace. On the show, people bring along their prized or quirky possessions to be quizzed and valued.

In truth, I enjoy spending the time sitting together on the sofa on a Sunday evening. It is amazing what comes up to be discussed and valued. Some things are worth a large fortune. Some are of great historical interest, going back to a famous event in previous centuries. Others are just unusual and of human interest.

In this particular episode, a man brought a group of books tied together with a ribbon. As I recall, it was a gift from his uncle to take with him when he went to boarding school. Being a young boy and not a bookworm, sadly, he never got to untie the ribbon and look at the books to read. Now, at least fifty years later, he revealed what he had missed out on, if only he had bothered to untie the ribbon. The books had been hollowed out to make a hidden package. Inside, filling the void, were stored a number of well-known chocolates and candies, all still in their wrappers fifty years old.

How ironic! It was a way for the kindly uncle to get candy contraband to his nephew, past the system of oversight — a way of demonstrating that he understood the need for support in a time of strict organizational direction. Been there, done that, got the scars — now mostly healed after fifty years — so I empathized with the thought.

Today, I think about how Jesus brings us a gift of peace. Inside, the gift is more than it appears on the surface. Inside the birth of a baby, hidden, God resided.

Jesus, born in anonymity as the Prince of Peace in troubled times, not only brought the gift of peace and deliverance from inner turmoil but also brings us the gift of connection with our Creator, and inside us, the presence of the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is first open and accept the gift, freely given.

Prayer: Lord, we know that You did not have it easy growing up in a world full of strict rules and social turmoil. Today, oftentimes, it seems that the "You in us" has been crushed, left behind somewhere in the surviving and doing of life. We invite Your Holy Spirit to come again and fill the void that we have let grow inside us during this time of trial. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great inspiration, Rod. Have a Merry Christmas.

    Wonderful and sadly too true Rod!

    Thanks, Rod. Also, a good example of how we miss out on so much of what God offers!

    Once again, a very good devotional which reminds us of God’s great gift to the world. God Bless.

    Thank you Rod for sharing this somewhat amusing anecdote and resultant spiritual lesson with us. Blessings.

    Thank you for that powerful message and reminder!
    Have a joyous Christmas,

    Merry Christmas Rodrick and family.
    Thank you for your devotional. I found interesting and so true.
    God bless.

    Dear Rod,
    May the Good Lord bless you and your family this Christmas season and all through the new year to come. I pray He keeps you all safe and healthy and blesses you always with the Holy Spirit.
    Thank you for your devotionals.

    Dear Rod,
    What an amazing story and your sentiment is so true. A lot of us are struggling through this unusual time and we forget to rely on our Lord. As we pray your prayer with you, we will be free of our anxiety. I love how you express the gift of God hidden inside the baby. May you continue to share your wisdom with us and may you have a Merry Christmas with many blessings.

    Hi Rod,
    The story in your devotional rang true with me. While never having such a gift, I had a bundle of letters that came my way when my parents died. I just wish I had them when they were alive. One letter in particular was sent by my Dad to his mother when he was a freshman in college. In the letter my Dad expressed great anguish over the death of his father in a railroad accident. My assumption is that in those days getting back and forth on a limited income was impossible. Just wish I had been able to talk about such things with my Dad before he died. He died when I was oh so busy raising three kids and looking back, I realize I missed so many opportunities to talk with him and my Mom about their lives.
    We know the most important story of the day, however, and both my parents did their best to instill in me the importance of Jesus Christ in my life.
    My best to you, Caroline, and your girls for a meaningful and Merry Christmas.

    We see that show here in Canada and I always enjoy it.
    When I see it now, I am sure the boots will come to mind along with your spiritual insights.
    Many thanks.

    Dear Rod,
    Thank you for the wonderful illustration of the book gift that had not been opened to see the “hidden gift” inside. It reminds me of how long humanity waits sometimes before we individually wait to accept the gift of Christ. Beautiful job.

    Thank you yet again for submitting to letting God use you brother to encourage Believers in Jesus! 🙂
    Isaiah 9:6 tonight also amazed me re revelation of Trinity, “3 persons in 1 God”!!!
    Also, it was funny re antique show episode! It’s a Canadian show too!
    Thanks, don’t quit eh.

    Good morning Roderick,
    Good devotional about “filling the Void.” Thank you for those good words.

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