Running on Empty

Yes it has been so hot and sticky. But after all, we are in January and so we should expect that kind of weather. It's days like these when a nice cool dip in the ocean or in a swimming pool wouldn't go astray.

Another thing which wouldn't go astray, is keeping a check on how much fuel is in the tank of the vehicle or machine you are driving. We had a golden rule on the farm, and it was this: when you brought the machinery in after a day's work in the paddock, it was your responsibility to make sure it was all ready to go again the next morning.

And so before going into the house to have a shower to get rid of all the dust you had been accumulating on your clothes and body (and in your mouth, nose, eyes and ears!), you would check the oil in the engine, grease up any areas which needed it, and of course fill the tank with petrol. This way the tractor and implements were all ready to go again at the crack of dawn the next day.

And so one morning, still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I hopped onto the tractor and began turning the  ground over among the fruit trees, to force the moisture underneath to the surface, to benefit the fruit trees.

I had hardly been ploughing for more than ten minutes when I noticed a miss in the motor. I said to myself - maybe the tractor is still rubbing sleep out of its engine also. But it wasn't long before the engine missed again, and then stopped. I looked at the petrol gauge, and saw that the tractor had virtually been running on empty.

Somebody had not followed the golden rule, and the tractor had not been prepared for continuing its work on the next day. We have a simple equation here - no petrol, no tractor, no work! You can't run on empty!

Now as strange as it may seem, even great men in olden days, tried to run on empty, and found it didn't work. We read of prophets and the psalmist who were down in the pits, and were far from being on top of everything. Why? Because they were trying to run on empty. Let's turn to one such prophet - Jeremiah - as recorded in Lamentations.

Now how do you like that for the name of a book written by a prophet? Right away you know the fellow's not feeling too good. Listen to the mood he's in as we look at chapter 3 and verse 19. "I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me." (A good paraphrase of that would be "I was in the pits"!) But after this mournful description of how Jeremiah felt, he then said:  "This I call to mind and therefore I have hope."

What do you call to mind, Jeremiah? "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, For His compassions never fail." (V 22) But there is more good news! - "They are new every morning." To put it very simply, Jeremiah was not going anywhere, because he had not checked his fuel tank - his spiritual barometer - he was running on empty.

And when he realized his situation, he filled up! He drew upon God's grace and mercy, His strength, power and wisdom: "I call to mind the ‘Lord's great love...His compassion which never fails...they are new every morning...great is His faithfulness’." Yes sir, no longer is he "in the pits"; no longer is Jeremiah "running on empty". Listen to what he says now: "I have hope...the Lord is my portion...the Lord will have compassion according to His abundant compassion."

Now, it may be that you're limping along right now because you have started too many days without checking the gauge, and unknown to you, you have been running on empty. Are you overwhelmed with what is happening? Have words been spoken to you and actions carried out, that have caused you emotional and mental pain? Is the road you are traveling on at the moment too hard for you?

It's time to fill up, to read God's Word, to be reminded that the Lord is a mighty, loving, powerful and compassionate God. With Him all things are possible (Matt 19:26). He cares for you, He is always there for you. The Lord has promised never to leave your side (Matt 28 :20). Remember, if He has given His Son Jesus to die on the Cross to take away your sins, surely He is able to encourage and strengthen you for each and every day (Rom 8:32).

We live life, not as years, months, nor weeks. We live life in lots of single days. That's why a once-a-week fill-up (going to church?) won't do it, or some occasional Bible study or prayer time. We're wired for an every morning/day relationship. The alternative is a growing mountain of stress, frustration, paralysis, frayed nerves and frayed relationships.

Don't run on empty. Fill up each morning by committing yourself to Almighty God, read His Word, talk to Him, and be reminded of His never failing love, compassion, strength and presence. Always check your spiritual barometer. With Him, you will be able to see each day to the finish. Grace and peace....

Leave your comments

terms and condition.
  • No comments found

Additional information