02 February, 2006
Running On Empty
Yesterday I received an email from someone asking me why I had not been posting to my blog much recently. My responding email was just two words, "I'm Empty."
Actually what I was referring to when I said that was that over the past few weeks I have either been at the church painting scenery for our kids church, dealing with trying to get a pastor placed at a church on my distrect, or I was at home, either sick myself, or for the past week with my daughter who has been sick. Probably 90% of what I write about comes out of my real life experience, and for the past four weeks, it is as if my life has been put on hold, or maybe I should say side-tracked, and I literally am empty. I just have been taken out of my normal field of operation, and much of what I have done has been conflict resolution and "putting out fires" which I don't feel would be appropriate to talk about publicly. I feel as if I am completely depleted... empty.
So far, 2006 has been a year of tremendous stress. I won't bore you with all the details, but it seems as if all I have done is deal with problems, being on the defensive side of things, if you will. I have had little time to do anything offensively for the Kingdom of God, and I will tell you, that is something that will deplete your spiritual and physical energy in a hurry. I have found myself battling a severe cold and flu for a couple of weeks, and because of these battles and needing to get the kids church finished, I have not had the time to "re-fuel" like I need to. Rather it has been kind of like pulling into the station and putting in a couple of dollars every day or two rather than filling up. When you do that, you are continuously "running on empty." Spiritually, we often do the same thing. Little bits here and there, and what we need is to fill up. Sooner or later, if you don't fill up, you are going to run out of gas.
I was hitting that point, but several times in the past couple of weeks, it was as if God called me in for a pit stop. The first time I was getting so sick I finally just shut everything down, took the phone off the hook and laid down. I didn't get much sleep, but can I tell you, the Holy Spirit broke through that day and spoke a message into my heart that has been keeping me going for the past 2 weeks. It is really funny, because in my physically weakened condition, I have had numerous people tell me that the messages I have preached the past two Sunday's have been the most powerful that they have ever heard from me. The difference? God called me in for a pit stop and refueling.
Earlier this week I was really running low again, and feeling so overwhelmed. Physically I was weak and exhausted. My voice was all but gone, and I remember sitting down that morning and saying, "Lord, I've got nothing left to give." A little while later I went in and sat down at my computer and I downloaded "Third Day Praise" from Trinity Chapel in Powder Springs, Georgia. (If you don't know about that... see me... you need to discover it!) As I began to watch them begin to worship the Lord, I found myself beginning to tear up, then weep profusely, and before I even knew what I was doing, my hands were in the air and I was praising the Lord. As I lifted up my praise and poured my heart out to the Lord, he lavished me with His love and strength. My voice suddenly became strong... energy swelled within me, and I literally found myself dancing around this room in my house. God had called me in for another pit stop!
I could write on this all morning, but the truth is, even now, duty is calling and I must run.
But I wanted to tell somebody else; If you are running on empty, it is time for a pit stop. Physical rest is needed, but just as much, and even more, you need a re-filling of the Holy Ghost. Don't ignore the voice of God calling out to you telling you to draw near. If you do, you will run out, and that usually leads to a dangerous situation. Draw near to God today, and He WILL draw near to you!