Have you ever run out of gas? Not something you’re proud of, huh? It happened to me once. Thanks to a good Samaritan, I finally made it home that day. The thing is, I really thought I could make it a little further on the fumes in my tank. Later. I kept telling myself “I’ll stop later.” I took a huge risk taking a short cut on a back road with no houses, nothing. On empty. In God’s fatherly love, he provided rescue. He was probably shaking his head and laughing at my “can’t stop now” mentality.
He still rescues me at times and whispers in my ear, “the very thing you need to do is stop.” Being still is hard when you are Busy Squirrel. (My Indian name given to me by Hot Pastor) For most of us women, we are on that back road, trying to find a short cut to getting it all done, and we are running on fumes.
My husband reminds me that the most loving thing I can do for my family that I am desperately trying to nurture and chauffeur and feed is to take care of myself. He watches me try to make my tank go just a little further. He hears me say, “later” and he shakes his head. He watched as God lovingly rescued me from years of trying to “get it together” and wants me to live in freedom from the unrealistic expectations I once had for myself.
This is a crazy busy season we are in as Christmas approaches. I want to remind us all that Jesus came in the quiet of night without fireworks or loud speakers. Those whose eyes were open to the beauty of that night sky saw his star and followed.
As we decorate and shop, wrap and invite, cook and give, we must find time to let our Savior fill us. We have to stop the car. Living life on empty, thinking that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves may leave us stranded on a deserted road one day. I believe when we find ourselves broken down, it’s our Father’s loving way of saying, slow down and fill up.
Hot Pastor is right. I can’t take care of anyone well when I don’t take care of myself. No one else is going to make sure that I’m healthy, rested, and refueled. So thankful that he not only gives me permission to do that but reminds me as well. I’m passing on the love to you today.
We can’t be a living sacrifice if we kill ourselves trying to be and do what God has never asked of us.
The Message (MSG)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.