Running Out Of Gas?

Good morning Hump Day readers. Hope your week so far has been great…and you haven’t “run out of gas” – petrol or your own exhaustion! We have finished our six months at the Army Corp of Engineers campground in Abiquiu, NM, and getting ready to get the big rig on the road back to Arizona. The thought of that does exhaust me, but it will be great to get back home as winter storms are already hitting northern New Mexico!

A friend of mine that often writes for Guideposts, shared something the other day about “running out of gas” and it got me thinking of how easily our days are so filled we wonder if we have any “gas left in the tank” for one more hour! I hope you enjoy her story…

“I was driving my fourteen-year-old son, Joey, to a birthday party when I heard five quick beeps coming from my steering column. I glanced down to see what was going on: out of gas. There was a message flashing on my dashboard: “Range to empty: 0 miles.” 

So I asked my son to use Waze to determine the closest gas station. The options: 2.4 miles ahead of me, or 1.2 miles behind me. O darn, now I had a decision to make. Should I turn around and head to the closer gas station, or should I keep going forward, hoping that my momentum would carry me 2.4 miles? 

My son chose for me. “Just keep going straight, Mom, you’re already rolling pretty fast.” I took his advice as I couldn’t trust my own indecisiveness. Looking straight ahead, I coasted along the rolling hills, watching the tenths of miles tick away. One mile in, the gas actually ran out (I must have been running on fumes up until that moment). In another half mile, I had slowed to half the speed limit.  

By the time the gas station came into view, I was coasting along at about five miles per hour. Somehow I managed to steer my car up to the gas tank. That’s when I finally took a deep breath and said a prayer of thanks that we had made it, grateful for my son’s wisdom to just keep my eyes straight ahead and my car rolling. Because while I hadn’t had the gas to make it to the station, I’d had the momentum to keep going forward.” Erin MacPherson

We all have our days when we’ve run out of gas in some kind of way and our momentum has hit a roadblock. Sometimes we’re not even sure we can coast through the rest of the day, but we try, often oblivious to just about everything except getting through whatever situation we are facing.

The problem with all this is we tend to take our focus off of Jesus and zero-in on the current problem. We forget Jesus is right with us all the time and has told us in many Scriptures that we can lean on him, pray to him, trust in him to take those burdens and problems. But when our focus is only on the problem we forget all those promises.

I love how Erin’s son took the steady “rudder” for his mom, reminding her she was already coasting quickly! I know I have friends and often my hubby as well, who remind me I am already going forward even if I don’t have enough “gas in my spiritual tank!” We need those reminders and what a gift from God who places people in our lives to fill-up our empty tanks.

At the end of the story Erin wrote this prayer: “Lord, remind me to keep my eyes on You, letting You pull me along even when I’m completely unable to move forward on my own. Amen.” I love this as it reminds me to keep my focus on the Lord and pray first—not last.

The Apostle Paul had many “run out of gas” moments in his ministry. Shipwrecks, stuck in filthy prisons, beaten, mocked, run out of town…but he didn’t give up. In the end, his faithful focus on Christ led him to write a good share of the New Testament and establish new churches that welcomed both Gentile and Jew. When he was “out of gas” God filled him up. His love of the Gospel was like a daily gasoline station that never ran out–we can learn so much from this man of faith!

I’ll end this devotion with Paul’s words from his letter to the Philippians (3:12 ESV) and I hope it encourages you whenever you are “running out of gas!”

Not that I have already obtained this
or am already perfect
but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me His own.