An empty stable stays clean—but there is no income from an empty stable. (Proverbs 14:4 TLB)
An empty stable stays clean, just as an empty house might remain neat and with things in order. An empty bottle doesn't really serve the purpose for which it was created, nor does an empty heart! Another 'empty' to consider is that of a canvas stretched tightly upon the frame. The frame gives it a 'form', yet the canvas is still just 'empty' until the artist takes up the brush and begins to add brush stroke after brush stroke of color to that 'void'. An empty canvas is rarely seen as 'empty' in the eyes of the artist - simply because he knows all the ways it is to be filled.
There are times we believe 'empty' is a bad thing, but if you actually stop to think about it, 'empty' defines the object as 'not full', not that it isn't open to being filled. The canvas might be nothing more than canvas until it stretched tight upon the frame, but once it is stretched upon the frame, it is now open to being filled. Yet, it is not quite ready - it must be 'primed' to receive that which the artist will add. The artist needs to 'prime' the canvas with a substance known as 'gesso' - a substance which actually helps 'hold' the paint that will be added to the canvas onto that canvas.
Did you know you could add 'gesso' to almost any surface, even vinyl, rubber, etc., and it would help hold paint to that surface? It acts as an 'adherent' when it is applied to that surface. There are also two grades to gesso - one is much stronger and actually helps that which is painted upon that surface to remain true in both color and texture. There is much prep which goes into making the canvas ready to receive the artist's touch - it isn't as simple as just unrolling a little canvas. The frame must be put into place, the canvas stretched and held into place, and then there must be the placement of that which helps what will come next to actually 'stick'!
Maybe then empty isn't really empty! The canvas isn't truly empty - it is ready! The work of 'receiving' that which will be added by the artist actually begins when the artist conceives the canvas - bringing together the parts that will make the canvas in the first place. Who could add to the canvas any better than the one who conceived it in the first place? If you are feeling a little 'empty' these days, perhaps it is just that God has been at work bringing together the pieces and priming the canvas of your life! In his mind, he sees what he will add next - even when all we see is 'empty'. Just sayin!