Running On Empty

It was a Monday morning after a very busy weekend. I learned not to plan a paintball activity the day before I preach and present the soul winning vision God has given our Pastor. My legs were sore, my hand somewhat injured, my back was tight, and I was severely lacking sleep. I say all this because what will happen in the next few moments will be blamed on the condition described above.

It was a day when Amy was to teach a high school class, Anabelle was headed to her friend’s house, and as a family we were running unusually late. Then it happened. The car lost power and I coasted into a neighborhood, out of gas!

The irony of it all is that we live one mile from a gas station. I literally thought to myself, “The gas station is so close. I’ll gas up tomorrow.” I said that on Saturday and again on Sunday. Now it’s Monday and I didn’t make it!

For about ten minutes, I waited for a friend to come by with a gas can. I was never more happy to see a big, bright, red container. I filled my car with some gas and off we went, to the gas station half a mile away.

Aside from determining never to let my fuel dip to those levels again (what levels, it was empty!), it made me wonder about my spiritual life.

I wonder how many Christians are living their lives, running on empty? Oftentimes, these are the Christians who faithfully attend church and are actively involved in their ministries. I know from personal experience that this can happen even as you attend Bible college. We get so caught up with what happens in life that we forget to fill up frequently. Working long hours, running the home, rearing children, paying bills, serving at church, caring for friends, traveling to the children’s athletic games and youth activities- these and many other tasks fill up our day to a point that when the day is over, we simply collapse in our bed so that we can do it again tomorrow. How exhausting! And if you’re not careful, you’ll not just run on empty, you will be empty.

Exhausted, frustrated, and defeated will be the adjectives used to describe your life. It doesn’t sound like the “abundant life” Jesus promised. Tired of it? Well, here’s the answer in three words, “Abide in Christ.”

Stay connected to the Source of all strength. Matthew 11 tells us that Jesus wants us to come to Him so that He can give us rest. How often do you come to Christ? How often do you drink from His well of strength, wisdom, and power? If you don’t, you’ll be stuck on the side of some spiritual road waiting for someone to rescue you.

This “out of gas” experience caused me to be more aware of when to fill my vehicle with fuel. But more importantly, I must ask the Lord to fill me frequently with His strength. No wonder the Lord’s model prayer teaches us to pray, “give us this day our daily bread.” Today’s power is not enough for tomorrow’s problems. This is God’s way of communing with us daily, His way of making us realize we need Him every hour.

Are you spiritually stuck on the side of the road? Remember that God is only a prayer away and His promise for you is abundant life and rest. All you have to do is fill up frequently!


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