December 13, 2013
Running on Empty
"You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!" Psalm 68:35 (NIV)
We were in between moves, living out of suitcases. My husband was working in one state while I was staying in another to sell our home. I had a bad cold, and coughing had interrupted my sleep for nights. I was so tired that the rings under my eyes had rings under them.
When my husband suggested we take time away from the packing, selling, and traveling, just to rest, I mentally listed the reasons we couldn't. How could we manage our many to-do's if we took time off?
In all of these excuses, I was ignoring that I had become very, very tired.
I was tired spiritually as we encountered hurdle after hurdle in the plan we knew God spoke into our hearts.
I was tired physically from a week-long cold.
I was tired relationally as I missed my husband.
Our circumstances weren't awful. I had battled much more challenging ones in the past. So I reasoned that I needed to put on my big-girl pants and just keep moving forward. Admirable, maybe, if you're a machine, but I am a plain ol' human who had run out of steam.
God knew it. My husband knew it. It was time for me to admit it. I needed time to rest and re-connect with God through prayer.
In Psalm 68:35 the Psalmist writes of a living God whose might and power sustained the people with power and strength. I was in need of that kind of help.
The writer of this verse responds to the Lord with great joy and praise. "You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!" (NIV) When we take our eyes off of worthless and powerless gods or even our own selves we rediscover the power and might of God. I needed to take my eyes off of the self-sufficiency of Suzie to rediscover what God had waiting for me.
Kneeling, I surrendered my schedule, time, and need to just keep going. I confessed that I was exhausted and needed my Heavenly Father's strength to complete the tasks in front of me.
That weekend I refueled as I nestled on a couch and prayed for a calm mind that was focused on the Lord, rather than all I had to do. I sat in God's beautiful creation and asked for Him to help me drop my stress over selling our home. I sensed His peace as I rested and took time to get better from my cold.
When the weekend ended, I was me again. It wasn't that I walked away with all my challenges erased, but I left filled up with God's strength.
Maybe you're like me. You are spiritually and physically tired, but you don't feel like you can take time to take a break. You think running full steam ahead is the strong way to handle things.
If we continue to run on empty and never stop to let the Lord fill us up, we will eventually discover the limits of our own strength.
Is it time for a prayer retreat of your own? Your special time with God might be in a park or a quiet place like the corner of a library. It's not the place that matters, but that you find one and take time to meet with the Lord.
We schedule everything else. Why not take time to rest in our Heavenly Father? Let's take a break and allow Him to fill us up as we seek His strength for the days ahead.
Dear Lord, I am spiritually and physically tired, and I have heard the whisper to stop and be refilled. Thank You for the sanctuary I find in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
Would you like to bring Suzie Eller to your church as your next retreat / key note speaker? Click here for more information.
Reflect and Respond:
Think about a tired friend who never stops to refuel. What advice would you offer her? How would you pray for her?
We often have more empathy or mercy toward others. Today, take that same advice and pray, and embrace it for yourself.
1 Chronicles 16:27, "Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary." (AMP)
© 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.