Running on Empty

As the deer pants for streams of water, o 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

It had been a busy day. In fact, it had been a busy week. On my way home, I had decided to stop by the UCLA hospital to visit my sister who was working the night shift. I left the hospital just before midnight, ready to crawl into bed. I couldn’t get home fast enough. It wasn’t more than fifteen minutes after leaving that my power steering went out on the freeway in Los Angeles. My heart sank; I knew the problem. I had run out of gas. Luckily, I was able to coast off at an exit, but I only had enough “oomph” to reach a side street. I was stuck.

I was so frustrated with myself. How could I have let this happen? All day, my warning light had beckoned. But I had been too busy, too preoccupied, to actually stop and fill up. I just kept driving and eventually forgot I even needed gas.

Sometimes I do the same thing with God that I did that day with my car. I stop paying attention, or get too busy to fill up, and the next thing I know, I’m stranded and helpless. What’s my reaction then? I cry out for God and beg for Him to come to my rescue. Perhaps I wouldn’t need to be rescued so often if I would always put God first and make filling up my top priority.

Are you going too fast? Have you forgotten to fill up your true gas tank, your source of life, your fuel? The psalmist likens himself to a deer in this passage who thirsts for water. A deer depends on water for survival. Our soul is in the same position. Our soul needs to be filled up by the Living God, or it will be dehydrated, weak, and eventually die. In the book of John, a story is found about a woman who meets Jesus at a well. Jesus offers her living water. He offers her Himself, the Messiah. We would never dream of depriving our own bodies of food or water, so why is it so easy to neglect our souls and not give them the nourishment they need? It is Jesus Christ and His Living Word that can satisfy your hunger and thirst.

1. What kind of condition is your soul in right now?

2.What are ways you can be purposeful and deliberate in making sure your soul is filled up?

Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 23:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:17

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Kelly McFadden

Kelly McFadden is a wife and mother and is part of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with a degree in journalism. Following a season of playing professional volleyball and training with the US National team, Kelly returned to school and received her Masters in Christian Education from Azusa Pacific University.

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