Day 15: Filling Your Tank

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

“However strong the branch becomes, however far away it reaches…all its beauty and all its fruitfulness ever depend upon that one point of contact where it grows out of the vine. So be it with us too.” Andrew Murray

 

  • Are you feeling tired today? I believe God has refreshment for each of us, as we look at John 15.
  • Take a few minutes to read John 15, then write verse five in your journal.

Filling Your Tank

Have you ever been going through life thinking everything is great when you suddenly realize there is a big problem? Ladies, I recently had that exact experience.

My husband Joey and I were getting ready to order takeout for the 3rd night in a row. We had been too busy to get groceries, and honestly, an empty fridge was becoming the norm at our house.

I was about to place the order, when Joey asked, “Kari, how did we get so busy that we don’t even have food in our fridge?”

I was surprised by his question, and honestly, I didn’t have an answer.

He continued, “I feel so drained. Don’t you feel empty? Like we are just going through the motions and missing important things that make our lives joyful and healthy?”

I was stunned. But as I processed his question, I realized he was right.

It had been a busy season. While we made our marriage a priority, we failed to make things like time with Jesus, friends, or even healthy eating a priority. I had assumed things would slow down. But months had gone by, and it was just getting more hectic. This had left Joey and me feeling frustrated, and at the end of our ropes most days—not the best way to spend life as newlyweds.

While I thought about Joey’s question, the Lord gave me a “picture” to help me understand what was happening. I’d love to share it with you.

In the “picture,” I had just been given my dream car. I was so excited that I drove that car everywhere. I watched as the gas gage on the car indicated the fuel level was getting lower and lower. But every time I passed a gas station, I decided I could go a little bit further without filling up. After all, I didn’t want to be late for my next adventure.

However, a few weeks later, while I was driving, the car began to make a sickening clunking noise and slowly chugged its way to a stop. I had run out of gas.

A man stopped to help me, but he only had a little can of gas with him. I gladly accepted it and was on my way again in no time. I drove past another gas station but again chose not to stop. After all, the car was working, right? On and on it went. The car would work for a while, but I frequently found myself either filling up at the last minute or running out of gas on the road.

Are you with me? Re-read John 15:5.

When Christ is talking about Himself as the vine and us the branches, this is what He means: just like the car is designed to need fuel to run and operate, Christ also designed each of us to need Him to operate optimally. We have a choice to go to Him when our “tank” is three-quarters full, half-empty, or when we are completely broken down on the side of the road. We can live by the Spirit or by the flesh.

What does this mean for us?

I don’t know about y’all, but that night, I had a huge wake-up call to stop and take time to abide in the Lord. Without abiding, I was a grouchy, irritable, impatient, frustrated, unsatisfied, ungrateful, and unloving version of myself—and it was rubbing off on Joey and those I love most.

The great news is, abiding doesn’t have to take hours!

Some days, we may only have five minutes to connect with Him—and that’s okay! Let’s read the short devotional app on our phones before getting out of bed, or talk to Him while doing the dishes, or listen to worship music or a podcast in the car.

It’s the act of turning to Him in small moments, continually throughout the day, that actually allows us to be the moms, wives, and women we want to be!

To truly love our families well, we have to be connected to the source that gives us exactly what we need.

Blessings and Love,

Kari

Questions to Ponder

  • How full is your “tank?”
  • What is one small action you can take today to “fill up” with the Holy Spirit (i.e. listen to worship music or a podcast, read your Bible, take a prayer walk)?
  • How can you find even five minutes each day to connect with Him?

Faith-Filled Ideas

Does your tank need to be filled today? Join me in a quick prayer:

Lord,
I need you. I’m sorry for trying to do everything myself. I wasn’t designed to do this alone. I’m feeling empty, and I need you to fill me up today. Help me make time each day to abide in You. Remove the lies and distractions that keep me from turning to you as my source of strength, peace, and support. Thank you for the gift of being able to abide in You. Thank you for being the vine that provides exactly what I need in every situation. Allow me to bear fruit for Your kingdom and for my family.
I love you.

 

Kari Stageberg

Kari is married to her amazing husband, Joey. They are newlyweds and have two fur babies. A survivor of a former abusive marriage, it’s been God’s grace and redemption that has completely re-written her love story. Kari also works, speaks, and writes with her Dad, best-selling award-winning author Dr. John Trent at their ministry http://StrongFamilies.com. Her life’s goal - and the message she shares with others - is to learn to live and love like Jesus.
Kari Stageberg

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