Have you ever run out of petrol?
I almost have, and on more than one occasion. Mostly when I was a student and every cent and every drop of petrol mattered. I knew how far I could push the needle below the gauge. Until that little amber light lit up, I could comfortably eke out another trip.
Sometimes my own poverty and bravado would push it just a little too far. Suddenly the little glowing petrol tank would seem a little brighter, a little more anxious, striking fear into my heart. This fear was amplified by my empty wallet, the few loose coins in the ash tray and the knowledge that the nearest petrol station was 10 kilometres away.
That’s when I would go into conservation mode.
Air conditioning off. Coast down hills. Accelerate slowly.
For some reason these close shaves seemed to always happen at night. At night, that glowing petrol indicator seemed to burn into my retina.
Coast down hills. Accelerate slowly.
As I drive over the next rise, another glowing light appears in the distance. This was the glow I longed for. The soft glowing lights of the petrol station.
Coast down hills. Accelerate slowly. Turn off the radio. (I knew this wouldn’t conserve petrol, but somehow I felt like it might help)
The glowing light on the console fades from my sight as the glowing light of the petrol station consumes my focus.
I start to talk to myself, the car, the petrol station.
Come on, we can do this. Come on little car, just get me to that light. Petrol station you better be open! Come on, don’t let me down.
The car starts to splutter, especially on inclines.
Not far now.
Doubt starts to creep in. I’m not going to make it. I’m going to come up short.
Coast down hills. Accelerate slowly.
Just when I’ve almost reconciled myself to walking, there it is! Turn into the driveway, pull up to a bowser, sweet relief!
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
1 Corinthians 13:7 tells us that love never gives up.
You may give up. I may give up. My car may give up. But love never gives up.
Jesus never gave up. Despite the opposition, the torture, and the shame Jesus endured it all so that we would not grow weary or lose heart. He endured the cross so that we could be restored to relationship with God.
When you feel like you’re running out of petrol in your life. When you’re worn down. When you feel like giving up. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Don’t focus on the glowing fuel indicator. Don’t focus on your own emptiness. Don’t focus on your lack. Keep your eyes on the author and finisher of your faith. As you do, He will bring restoration, refreshing and renewal.
Coast down the hills. Accelerate slowly. Focus on the only one who can replenish your soul, who can fill you to overflowing.
OVER TO YOU
Running on empty? How do you replenish your spirit? What recharges you? No matter how desperate things may seem know that love never gives up. Jesus, the lover of your soul, carries that love and embodies that love. Through Him and in Him you can be replenished and restored.
Lord, I run on empty more than I care to admit. Help me to keep my focus on you. May I constantly seek you and your love as my source of replenishment. Thank you that your love never gives up. Thank you that even though I come close to giving up your love caused you to endure all things. Fill me to overflowing such that your presence and love in my life may cause others to be replenished too. Amen.