Day 3 of 7 • This day’s reading


Relying on the Power of the Holy Spirit

Danny Lotz and I were married on September 2, 1966, in the same mountain chapel where my parents had been married twenty-three years earlier. My wedding was all that I had dreamed. But within twenty-four hours of the ceremony, my commitment to Danny was challenged in a way that is humorous today but was miserable then.

The morning after the wedding, we were scheduled to catch a plane out of Atlanta that would take us to San Diego, where we would spend the remainder of our honeymoon. After a quick breakfast, we got into Danny’s baby-blue Oldsmobile Starfire convertible and headed south on Interstate 85 toward Atlanta.

An hour or so into the drive, I noticed the gas gauge was hovering near empty. Within minutes, we felt the car jerk, heard the engine cough, and then everything went silent as Danny guided the gliding car to the shoulder of the highway. We had run out of gas! 

By the time Danny returned from a distant gas station to fill the tank, I was nauseated from the smell of the swamp beside the road, soaking wet from having been locked in a car in the sweltering heat, and if someone had offered me an annulment, I would have taken it on the spot!

On that first day of marriage, I learned a simple but valuable life lesson: no one can run on empty. You and I can’t run on empty in a car or in a marriage or in life. Which is why God has given us His Holy Spirit. He is the “fuel”—the power—that enables us to live the Christian life.

Although you have said your vows of commitment to the Lord Jesus and entered into a personal relationship with Him, do you find yourself running on empty? With a fake smile on your lips and the “proper” words on your tongue, are you just trying to make it one more week…one more day…one more hour…one more step? Is your mind gripped by the thought I can’t do this. I’m just not cut out to live the Christian life?

Don’t be discouraged. There is hope! The One who is within you will enable you to live out the vows you have made. 

In what ways are you “running on empty” right now? Ask God to fill you with His presence, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.