But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.~Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
There I was headed to work like any other day, when less than 5 minutes from my job, my car started doing something strange.
I felt it jerk a bit and begin to slow down, even though my foot was on the gas. The next thing I knew, the steering wheel would barely turn. Something was definitely going wrong! Not to mention I was on a busy intersection with cars coming from all directions. I think I was too shocked to panic.
Luckily, in a split second, a gap in the traffic opened up and I was able to force the steering wheel enough to get my car into the gas station I was passing. Thinking back, honestly it was a miracle!
As soon as I turned into the lot, the car cut off. Talk about God’s protection. I called my insurance company to send a tow, and then my brother to see if he would be able to take me to work. While I was waiting, I kept trying to start the car. The dash would light up but the ignition wouldn’t budge. After several attempts, something told me to just look down and pay attention.
Nooo, that couldn’t be!
But it was.
I am ashamed to admit this, but I had run out of gas!
I saw the warning flash earlier that week but my car wasn’t quite on “E”. Yet, definitely at the point of pushing it way too close (which I had done before). I just wanted to get to work so I told myself I would fill the gas tank later.
Or so I thought.
Later that evening when I got home (on a full tank), I thought about the lesson this situation taught me. Similar to ignoring the warning signals in my car, I had started to ignore the warning signals in my life.
I knew I needed to slow down and refocus, but I continued to push myself until I was downright exhausted. I was staying late in the office, assisting others with miscellaneous tasks, not eating properly, and overbooking my schedule. The spiritual nourishment I needed from my prayer and devotional time was waning, while television and social media were demanding more of my focus. In retrospect, those things seemed harmless in the beginning, but my tired eyes, irritable spirit, and lack of focus were sending me another signal.
I was running on empty.
And if I didn’t do something soon, I was going to crash.
Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.~Mark 6:31 NLT
In Mark 6, Jesus gives us insight into the importance of rest. The apostles had come excited to share with Him all they had “done and taught” (vs. 30). One might think that after hearing all of the wonderful miracles and healings they had performed, they would be encouraged to go take on the next great thing. But seeing that there were “so many people coming and going that they didn’t even have time to eat,” Jesus’ response reveals that He knew best. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31 NLT).
It’s easier said than done, but I want to learn how to better take heed to this wisdom. In the midst of all that we have going on from day to day, even when they are good things, we have to REST.
More than sleeping in late, which I’m all for, true rest is a place of ease–a time of refreshment. It allows us to gain new strength and reenergize ourselves. For some, it might mean unplugging from your electronic devices and going to bed a little earlier. Perhaps you’ll have to turn down that weekend outing with your friend and stay in. Or maybe it’s even time to take a personal retreat. Whatever this looks like for you, the important thing is that you are intentional about it. Just as our cars run best when they’re not running on an empty tank, we also can operate at our best when we take time to rest and refuel in our Lord Jesus Christ.
As you take the time to rest, I pray you will “…find new strength…” and “… soar high on wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).
Are you running on empty spiritually? How can you, with God’s help, remedy this?
Heavenly Father, help me to be purposeful with my times of spiritual refreshment. Thank You for meeting me when I pray, read my Bible, worship, and rest in Your presence. Help me to prioritize these activities with You above anything else I do.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Adapted from Pages From My Heart: A Devotional for Women: Lekeisha (Ford) Maldon: Used with permission
Copyright 2021: Running on Empty: Lekeisha Maldon: All Rights Reserved