Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Running On Empty

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Psalm 42:1-2, NIV)

Forgive me for my bias, but I see few people get as depleted with the demands of daily living as I do parents of children with a special need. Between working full-time (as many do these days), managing the usual responsibilities of life, and caring for that special child, parents find themselves at the end of their rope far more often than they'd care to admit. True, we each need to adjust to a new definition of "normal" in our households. Still, sometimes those physical strainings of lifting or caring for the disabled child, or those mental endurance trials of staying consistent with the cognitively or emotionally challenged child are just too much for us to handle. We're left dry, thirsty, wrung-out, even resentful.

These can become one of those "But God" moments of life. What are those moments? Take a look at one of the 61 times that phrase "but God" is used in the Bible! They usually represent God's intervention in a moment of hopelessness or helplessness. Psalm 73:26 says, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Wow! I fail daily! What hope that Scripture holds for a weary soul like me! Acts 3:15 says, "You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead." It doesn't get more hopeless than death, still God overcame that obstacle! And it doesn't get worse than being done in by the very person trying to help you, yet God can redeem the situation! Romans 5:8 affirms it, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

The point is this, my friends, when we are weigh down, depressed, feeling defeated by the daily living, there's God. He is our hope in the midst of even the worst of situations.

At times like this, satisfy that thirst for God by connecting to Him. First, saturate yourself with His word. Others throughout the history of time have endured trials much like yours. Reading about those situation in the Bible and what God promises in their midst, can give us great encouragement and wisdom. Second, spend a few quiet moments recalling how He has brought you through in the past. How many times have you thought, I'll never make it, but did? Those are times of God's provision that need to be reflected upon to strengthen you. Third, share stories with other Jesus-followers. When we tell others how God is working in our lives and hear how God is working in theirs, it can't help but refresh and energize us. Proverbs 25:25 puts it aptly, "Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land." When two or more of us are gathered, exchanging our tales of encounters with the living God, He is right there with us building us up.

These are the ways to fill the tank when we're running on empty. We all need to pull over for a fill-up sometimes. Make sure you're putting in the right kind of fuel when you get there!

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