My car is low on gas. I never notice the flickering light on the dash until it’s almost too late. The hazy orange is never bright enough; my mind is always elsewhere, always go, go, go. One time I ran out of gas on the freeway. It wasn’t my car so I wasn’t even thinking about the light, just about staying awake, just about it being three in the morning and my drunk friends passed out in the back seats, just thinking about the snow falling slick and steady on the pavement, just trying to get us home safe.
The car choked. My friend startled from sleep, leaned across the center console to exclaim that we were out of gas and sill twenty miles to go. The northern Iowa highway stretched open and endless before us, dark, except for the faint headlights heading towards us on the opposite side. It was cold. So damn cold. And I stood outside the car, fumbling with the gas can, my knuckles white and my legs, clad in thin tights, shaking like twigs in the wind. I was so scared—we were all so scared. What if AAA didn’t get there in time? What if the weather got bad and we were stranded?
I’d never felt so helpless.
And I never made that mistake again…until I did. Until I ran out of gas in the middle of a busy intersection, though this time in the summer months. This time, I was stalled out at the stoplight, my hazards flashing and cars zooming past my driver’s side door all in a hurry to get somewhere.
My car was shiny and white, freshly washed, just sitting there as I ran to the gas station and back, praying that the liquid would pour faster, that people would stop looking at me, that the light would turn red and no more horns would honk.
I’m not always good at remembering to fill my tank—in more ways than one.
Sometimes I try so hard to be everything, be everywhere, do so much that I forget what’s important. I forget that I need breaks, need refills, need moments to be grounded and still.
Sometimes I let myself drain, let myself empty before I remember I don’t have to live my life any less than filled. Sometimes I forget that my Father is watching over me, that He longs to pour Himself into me whenever I fall, whenever I feel weak.
Why do we fight this so much? Try to drive without fuel. Try to be bigger without Him. Act like we can do everything on our own. Sure, there’s power in being capable. Sure, there’s strength in standing on your own two feet, relying on your own motor.
But sometimes we need a little push, a little love, a little passion running through our veins. Sometimes we’re sputtering, desperate for something to coat our dry throats, fill our empty tanks.
Sometimes we’re on the shoulder of a highway, cars zipping past and negative temperatures in the air, in need of someone to save us.
Sometimes we’re caught in the middle of an intersection, nowhere to turn, and we just need someone to step in and remind us we’re not fighting through this life alone.
God is like the gasoline. Like the gasoline in the way He fills us, empowers us, gives us the strength to continue forward, to drive and drive and drive. His spirit gives us hope. His word gives us knowledge. His love gives us the ability to open and share light with those around us.
His truth is our fuel.
So will you let Him fill you? Will you surrender to His perfect plan, even though it might scare you? Will you trust that He’s going to be there—whether you’re dancing happily through your days or stranded on the edge of I-55, dead cell phone in hand?
Will you let Him be the source of energy that keeps you moving, that gives you something to live for and live through?
Will you believe that He’ll be there? Even when it’s three in the morning and you’re so sure that no one cares. Even when it’s the middle of an intersection and near damn impossible to reach you? Even when your soul feels so dry and empty? Even when you’ve convinced yourself nothing will fill you back up?
Will you let Him try?
Will you let Him love you back to fullness?