Running on Empty

Read: Mark 6:30-38
But Jesus said, “You feed them” (Mark 6:37).

My boss and I were driving back from a neighboring town late one night when our car rolled to a stop. “We’re out of gas,” she said. There was a gas station about a quarter of a mile away, so we shrugged into our coats, shoved the doors open, and started walking.

If you’ve ever been low on fuel, you know it’s impossible to keep moving for very long. You might be able to coast for a while, but you can’t run on empty forever.

Jesus recognized the disciples’ need to refuel when He suggested, “Let’s go off by ourselves . . . and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31). His band of do-gooders had just come back from a ministry tour, but things were so hectic that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to grab lunch before a crowd formed. Jesus decided to hold an impromptu seminar, teaching them “many things.”

After a while, the disciples said, “It’s getting late. Send the people away so they can get something to eat.” Jesus’ response? “You feed them” (v.37). He knew His crew was tired and hungry, that it was late, and that they were broke. The disciples sassed back, “With what?”

Maybe you’re wondering the same thing. Fortunately, Jesus wasn’t setting the disciples up to fail—and like them, He won’t ask us to help people in His name without enabling us to follow through. Jesus “knows how weak we are; He remembers that we are only dust” (Psalm 103:14).

Sometimes though, He allows us to run on empty for a while, until we recognize that He is the ultimate fuel source for our ministry. Without Him, we can’t keep going, but with Him we “can do everything through Christ who gives [us] strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”