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Low Fuel

1 Thess. 5:16
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
My, this is a hard verse to live out, especially when I'm in the middle of a huge crisis... or a big problem that I can't see the way out of... or a health scare... or a crazy kid issue...or even today with a silly, simple errand!
We had had one of those mornings with kids frantically finishing up their homework, last minute lunches being made, voices raised as we ran out the door to wait for a very late bus.  As I waved good-bye to my kids, I noticed my car light flashing 'fuel level low.'  My thoughts take over...

"Ugh!  I don't have time for this, my meeting starts soon!  Why didn't I notice this yesterday?  I'm going to have to get gas before I get on the freeway.  It's too cold to get out of my car!  My car is so dirty and I'm in my nice clothes.  I don't want to touch that nozzle, where are those anti-bacterial wipes?  If only I had filled up last night when I was out.  Oh, I'm going to be so late!" 

My attitude was terrible, as I let my thoughts continue to escalate.
"Oh great, I have to wait in line.  Why is that guy taking so long?"  As I drive around to the other side of the pump, I notice it's out of order.  "Grrrr!"

Yes, my car needed fuel and apparently I did too! 
I start asking myself questions as I wait for the tank to fill.
Why can't I handle a little inconvenience?  Why do I let my negative thoughts take over?  Why am I so worried about being a bit late?  Why do I care about dirty hands and germs so much?  Ugh!
As I calm down, I begin to think about the fuel I needed.  I didn't just need fuel, it appeared I needed my entire engine checked! 
I needed God's Word, guiding my thoughts, filling me up, overflowing me with joy.  I should have been thanking God for providing me a car (that works) and a nearby station to get gas.  I should have been thanking Him for a 'low fuel' light and not allowing me to run out of gas on the freeway.  I should have been thanking Him for having the money to buy the gas I needed.  I should have been thanking Him and praising Him, instead of being completely wrapped up in my selfish, sinful thoughts.
I have so many luxuries and so many blessings, but I still continue to fall into the trap of selfish living when I take my focus off God and put the focus on myself and my circumstances.

As for my meeting...I was only 5 minutes Bible Study!
Later this afternoon, I received an e-mail newsletter from a missionary couple I know.  My earlier selfish attitudes of having to put gas in my car, suddenly seemed so trivial and ridiculous compared to this couples' dire needs for housing and transportation.  Forgive me, Lord.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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