When You’re Running On Empty…

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one word prompt.
The prompt today is “empty,” and I am also incorporating last week’s prompt, which was “enough.”

When You're Running On Empty

Last week I missed taking part in FMF for the first time in several months.  I smiled to see that the prompt was “enough” because that’s one thing I felt I lacked last Friday:

  • enough time
  • enough energy
  • enough wisdom
  • enough patience
  • enough ability

Most of the day I felt empty of all that was needed.

I won’t go into all the details, but on Thursday I had been thrown into an extremely difficult work situation.  It was demanding on several levels: leading a team of people I hardly knew to run an event that was very different from what I am used to, working with a high proportion of young people with additional support needs with minimal information about how best to support them, managing challenging situations with young people from very chaotic home backgrounds, supporting people who were upset over the unforeseen circumstances that had led to me being thrust into this role.

My recurring prayer that whole day was, “God,  I can’t do it.  I don’t have enough.”

And yet somehow, when we come empty, he loves to fill us.  When we have nothing left to give, he supplies just what we need to keep going a few moments longer.  Like the widow with a handful of flour and a drop of oil, we may never have an abundance, but somehow we always have just enough.

If we’re looking to God, we are never completely empty.  When we come to the end of ourselves he steps in, and fills in the gaps, supplying all that is needed.

Someone asked me last Friday if I felt in control.

I almost laughed in their face.

I don’t think I have ever felt less in control, but maybe that was God’s cunning plan.  When we realise we don’t have what it takes, it causes us to turn to him, allowing him to fill us as only he can.

And as I made it to the end of the event last Saturday, while I felt empty of energy and eager for rest, my heart was also full as I saw God’s faithfulness and provision and could testify that, despite the challenges, it was enough.

If you’re feeling empty, or in need of some encouragement, please check out yesterday’s post for a review of the book “Hope When It Hurts” and a giveaway with the chance to win a copy!



27 thoughts on “When You’re Running On Empty…

  1. Thank you for the reminder to go to my Father. Way too often I try to do things on my own, only to come up drained and empty. But I’ve also experienced His filling when I’ve gone to Him. God bless you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an amazing post and I adore how you incorporated both. Because when we feel we aren’t enough, we are most empty. And when we feel we don’t have enough is when we need to be reminded we are full with all that it takes for us to succeed. Thank you for your words, your FMF neighbor, #13.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course one of my first thoughts when I saw the prompt was Jackson Browne’s song of the same title of your post 😉 And then my thoughts also went to the story of the widow that you shared. Needless to say, but I will, we’re of the same mind on this. Again. Even when our specific experiences are different God uses them to bring us back to him and his word and his filling. Thank you, Lesley, for always sharing hope with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Andrew. That is so true. For a long time I would hide my weaknesses, thinking that was strong, but it is much bettet to acknowledge them. Happy Easter to you too!


  4. A great example of recognizing our need for help outside of ourselves. For me personally, I think this understanding has been one of the biggest keys to living in victory in the midst of chronic pain and illness. So grateful that God is just waiting for us to turn to Him in our own insufficiency, ready to show us HE IS ENOUGH!

    Have a blessed Easter, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is really good, and such a crucial reminder. Those feelings of emptiness can drive us to greater reliance on God. I appreciate you sharing your personal work experience here, too. The life of trust is a totally practical, day-to-day thing: that’s where God shows up. Thanks for showing how he did for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeannie. Yes I think the times when we feel weak can be good because they turn us to God, and it is encouraging to know that he’s with us and cares about every part of our lives.


  6. When I’m feeling like I don’t have enough, it reminds me I’m lacking in the self-care department. Are usually notice that those feelings occur after I have stopped my meditation practice (which really, is just praying), writing, yoga… all the things I do to nourish myself. My yoga teacher always compares it to trying to take money out of the ATM machine without ever putting in a deposit. It won’t work… You’ll never get anything without making a deposit first.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ‘When we come empty, He loves to fill us’. Such a great reminder. I can’t get that John Pantry song out of my head now:
    ‘Empty handed, that is how he wanted me
    He commanded, I left my own plans at his feet
    ‘Til I had nothing, nothing of my own
    And then he filled my life to overflowing’
    (No. 9 at FMF)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Lesley! Although you didn’t elaborate on your situation, I can believe that you come up against all kinds of challenges through your work. We never think we can do it, as we get stretched and pulled by new places and problems, and yet, there is God through the whole thing, leading and loving you. I hope it all went well in the end, and that you knew once again, that you were enough, and always will be with him!
    Happy Easter to you and yours my friend. May God abundantly bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lesley,
    you’re right. We WERE on the same wavelength!
    “When we realise we don’t have what it takes, it causes us to turn to him, allowing him to fill us as only he can.”
    We cannot be full unless we are filled. 🙂 We are not meant to be self-fulfilling!
    Glory, Hallelujah!!
    (#2 this week)

    Liked by 1 person

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