When You Run Out of Yourself

Image courtesy of supakitmod at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of supakitmod at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1 NKJV

When I was first hired as a part-time feature writer for the local paper, I could barely contain my excitement. Not only would I be realizing a lifelong dream—to be a writer—but also, finally, I had the chance to fulfill what I believed was a calling from God: to write a devotional column for the newspaper.

Several years earlier God had given me the vision; now the time had come. So I thought.

But as many times as I suggested it, the publisher said no. “I want you to focus on your feature stories,” he told me.

One day I walked into his office and he had the day’s newspaper spread out before him. He was complaining about wasted space. It just so happened that it was the day the weekly religion page was published, along with a boxed devotional they obtained online.

This was my chance.

“You want to see wasted space?” I flipped the pages to the religion page. My forefinger stabbed the canned devotional. “That’s wasted space. Those are dry as dust. Let me write something fresh.”

His mouth turned down in a cross between a frown and a pout. “I’m not going to pay for it,” he said.

“That’s fine,” I answered, excitement and joy spreading through me. I took his words as permission. After all, he didn’t say not to write it. He just said he wouldn’t pay for it.

That was 20 years ago.

Oh, I had plenty of ideas those first few years. Family was the best fodder. Something was always happening I could write about. I also tapped into 45 years’ worth of lifetime memories.

Eventually the kids grew up and left home, and their personal privacy trumped my need for writing material. And, after two decades and more than a thousand columns, the lifetime memory reservoir is drying up. In short, I ran out of Michele.

Every week I face a blank computer screen—and an equally blank idea bank. When an idea strikes, it takes only a moment to realize “I wrote about that already.”

So I pray, “Lord, help me. Write this column through me. What do You want to say this week?”

Despite my prayers, I still approach writing this column with anxiety.  It’s a big responsibility when you accept God’s call.

Oh, you start out with enthusiasm and excitement and plenty of ideas. But God’s calling isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And it’s downright scary when you have to depend on someone other than yourself, even if that someone is God.

Haven’t I yet learned when God calls, He will equip? Hasn’t He faithfully answered my “write this column through me prayer” every week?

At some point we all hit the wall—the point where we run out of ourselves and feel as though we have nothing left to give.

Actually, we don’t. That is, we have nothing left of ourselves. But that’s a good thing—running out of ourselves. Because if we are to continue, we must let God fill us with Himself.

What about you? Have you hit the wall in your service to God?

You serve the God of endurance and encouragement (Romans 15:5)

And remember the words of the great missionary Hudson Taylor: “God’s will done God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”

Lord, forgive me when I depend on myself and not You. Remind me You are the God of unlimited resources. Amen.

Read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 15:58

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

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