Tuesday, April 8, 2008

RUNNING ON EMPTY?

A PIECE OF MY HEART

1 CHRONICLES 22:19
"Now determine in your mind and HEART to seek the Lord your God."
It is my prayer that today as I share a piece of my heart that your heart will be encouraged and strengthened!

RUNNING ON EMPTY?
Have you ever had a week that if you were asked to do one more thing, go to one more meeting, cook one more meal, answer one more question…that you wish you could just evaporate into a thin vapor! We all have weeks like this. For some of us, we have days, weeks or even months that we feel drained. For some of us, this past year has left us feeling like we are running on empty. We have no more to give.
Since this week's devotion is about facing changes in our life, I wanted to share with you the journey that I found myself on 15 years ago when a major change sprouted up in my life!

MY JOURNEY
Fifteen years ago, Clayton and I gathered our children up and ventured out on a journey. The journey was a road trip, a trip that was going to take us from Wisconsin to Arkansas. We had just accepted a job transfer with the company Clayton was working for at the time. The moving truck had already come. As it drove off with all of our belongings, we packed up our most valuable possessions in our car, our three little boys. We would catch up with the rest of our belongings in a few days in Arkansas. So our journey began.

The 12-hour drive became 15 hours; no doubt, any of you who have traveled with young children know how that happens. As we got closer to our destination, to our new home in Arkansas- the anticipation increased, the excitement grew, and the restlessness eased.

However, as the excitement grew inside the car, something was missing, something began to slow us down. You see, a few miles back, Clayton got weary and asked me to take over at the wheel. As the driver, I made a huge error…I did not keep an eye on the gas gauge. And just as we were approaching our destination, our tired little old car gave out! That is right, we ran out of gas, we were running on vapors.

Luckily, we were able to make it to the last wayside before our destination and a State Employee was kind enough to take Clayton to get some gas. Once we were able to get refueled, we were good to go and able to finish the journey that we started out on.

JOURNEY WITH GOD
I share that story with you because I think in our daily walk with God, we too, start out on a journey but somewhere along the way, we get tired and we give up. We run out of gas so to speak and we feel like we are running on empty.

Why does this happen to Christians?
This can happen for numerous reasons, but two reasons are because we take on too much and also we often listen to the voice of others instead of the voice of God!
example:
"Can you teach this Sunday School Class?" "Sure, I'd love to" INSTEAD OF "I'd love to but let me pray about it first."

Are you running on empty? Do you feel drained? Have you run out of gas?
…. in your ministry? …….at work? …….in your home? ………in your heart?

I would like to leave you today with 3 things that will help you get back on track..

1. REPENT
It is very easy for us to find things to do instead of doing things for God. If you have taken on more than you can handle, Stop and ask God right now to forgive you and ask Him to reveal to you what He wants you to do and then strive to do it with excellence. Sometimes we have to drop some things that are keeping us from sitting at Jesus feet. Jesus reminded Mary of that same thing in Luke 10.

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41 2.

2.REFRESH
I once heard a keynote speaker start his conference out with this statement, “ If you think it’s time to quit, it is too soon!” sometimes when we feel overwhelmed with things, this may be the time to quietly ask God to speak to us, to change us and to help us get back on track. Whether it is in ministry or at home that you feel drained, God can replenish whatever is lacking in your life. Ask God today to refresh your mind, your spirit and your commitment to Him and to your family.

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Cor. 5:17 3.

3. REFUEL
In our journey to Arkansas, our trip would have been incomplete if we had not been able to stop and refuel. We would not have been able to finish what we started out to do. A Christian that does not take time to stop and refuel will also not be able to finish the race he has started. For a Christian to stop and refuel means she/he must spend time in Gods Word and spend time with God.

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry". Psalms 39:12

If we keep running on an empty tank, we will run dry and no one around us will be able to relax. The Lord keeps us going. We need to take some time out of our busy schedule to sit at His feet to refuel.

I pray today that your spirit will be refreshed and refueled!

and that's a piece of my heart today;

Blessings, Laurie

5 comments:

Pastor Rusty said...

Great word today Laurie! Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart. It is so easy to be like Martha and be weighted down with anxieties, etc. and fail to sit at Jesus' feet like Mary. Thanks for this powerful reminder. Blessings!

RLB

LAURIE said...

Pastor Rusty,
Thank you for your comment. I find myself falling into the steps of Martha sometimes, being the OCD person that I am, and sometimes I forget the importance is not so much in the details but the purpose. God is working on me about letting some of the "details" go.
God bless - Laurie

Cheri said...

I'm right there with ya on the OCD part. If I could only let go of some of the details as well,and focus more on the reason, I would probably feel alot more FREE!!

Laura said...

Great devotional!

Deborah said...

Thanks for stopping by my site. This is a great post!

Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings to you!