Running on Empty
Christ is Risen!
The other day I was driving my car and didn’t realize that the tank was almost empty. I began to get nervous, and kept praying to God that the car wouldn’t run out of gas before I reached the next gas station. When I checked my GPS, the closest station was 11 miles away! Thank God, though, I did reach the station and didn’t end up having to actually push the car!!!
As I thought about my carelessness in allowing the car to almost reach that critical point of empty, I reflected on what a great analogy this situation offers for our spiritual lives.
How many of us are close to running on empty in our spiritual lives? How many of us don’t even take the time to look at our spiritual gage, and see whether we actually have gas in our tanks. In fact, how many of us are now sitting in our cars, not moving at all because our spiritual tank is empty, and as we sit there not moving, we don’t actually do anything about it! It does no good to “wish” our tank was full. Instead we have to actually do something to refill our tank!
This month, as we continue to bask in the joy and wonder of our Lord Jesus’ Resurrection, we celebrate two other special feastdays of the Church - the Ascension of our Lord into heaven and Pentecost, which marks 50 days after Pascha when the Holy Spirit came down with power upon the followers of Jesus Christ.
Both these feasts remind us how Christ longs to fill our “tanks” with His Spirit. Our Lord doesn’t want us to run on empty as we journey through life. He wants to fill us and empower us each and every day of our lives. He even offers Himself to us daily through our connection with Him in prayer, through reading of Holy Scripture, and whenever we approach to unite with Him through Holy Communion. But remember, He will never push Himself on us, or force us to fill our spiritual tanks with His Presence. It’s up to us to see whether we have a need, and then to ask, and willingly accept to be filled with His Spirit.
Here are a few promises that our Lord Jesus offered to His followers:
“Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst. But the water that I shall give will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
“I am the bread of life, anyone who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
“Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
“I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly.”
“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”
“And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Christ didn’t abandon the world when He ascended back into heaven. In fact, He promised that He would send down upon us a powerful Comforter, an Advocate, the Spirit of Truth. God will never abandon His children. God is with us and will always be with us! He is ready to fill our tanks, our lives with His Presence. Yet, will we allow Him to do this?
Here is the great promise and blessing of Pentecost. God’s Holy Spirit is ready to come and dwell within us! All we have to do is open up and invite Him. All we have to do is accept Him. And the more we open our hearts each day to receive Him, the more we will experience the peace and joy of the living God active in our lives!
So let us not sit in our cars with an empty tank! Let’s not go through life feeling empty, like we are going no where! Instead, let’s fill up our minds, hearts and souls with, as the Apostle Paul said, all that is “good, true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8). Let us begin each day with a Prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to come and be present and active in our lives:
Come O Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who are present everywhere and fill all things, the Treasury of blessings and Giver of Life, Come and Abide in us!
With much joy, hope, and love in our
Resurrected Lord Jesus,
Welcome to our Church