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Exhaust: drain (someone) of their physical or mental resources; tire out; use up (resources or reserves) completely.

Have you ever waited too long to put gas in your car? 

I did. Once.

When I first got my car (a 2006 Honda Civic that I was so proud of) I was meticulous with it. I made sure no trash was left in it; it was always clean; a car freshener was always inside; and I never — and I mean never — let the gas get too low. I wanted to take care of him (yes, my car was a guy).

But slowly, I began to get less strict with how I treated my car. I started leaving gum wrappers balled up in the cup holders. Then, I got lazy late one night and left a fast food bag in the car. I forgot to buy air fresheners soon enough, and I procrastinated cleaning my car. It just didn’t seem worth the effort if it was just going to get dirty again.

Then one freezing winter day, I started my car and saw that my fuel tank was at zero. There was nothing left in there to run my car.

My heart began to beat so hard and loud. How had I let it get this empty? How was I going to get it to the gas station? 

I prayed, and prayed hard, as I shifted him into gear and began my slow trek to the closest gas station. I prayed the whole way there, and did my best not to touch the gas pedal any more than strictly necessary. 

Thankfully, by the grace of God, I made it there and was able to fill up my tank. I was lucky I wasn’t left stranded with no way of getting my car to start.

And this moment taught me something. 

Oftentimes, when we first become serious about our relationship with God, we put in all the time and effort. We read our Bibles and pray and worship and go to every church service. We take good care of our relationship with Him. 

But then slowly, we become lazy and let things go. We don’t have time to read the Bible. We forget to pray. We’re too uncomfortable to worship, or we don’t like the song. We overslept and can’t make it to church. 

We forsake spending time with Him for the pleasures of this world.

Then, one day we wake up and our spiritual tank (so-to-speak) is empty. We’re at zero. We didn’t put in any effort, so we have nothing in there. And now we ask ourselves questions like, “Where did God go? Why would He leave me? How am I going to make it through this?”

This is why it’s so important to spend time with God. We need to refuel. If we exhaust what we’ve put inside of us, we will no longer be able to function as we once did.

This is your reminder this week to refuel. Don’t exhaust your faith. Don’t forsake your relationship with Him. Put in the effort and drive!

Maddisen Sauls is the smile and voice behind the Everyday Joy blog as well as the author of the Word of the Week posts and the editor of by leaps and bounds. Throughout her life, Maddisen has worked as a reporter for small town newspapers, a School Age and Preschool teacher, and has acquired her ministerial license. 

An avid book reader and lover of the written word, Maddisen is passionate about using her favorite medium to reach the lost and the hurting, and to offer encouragement and hope to those struggling through life. 

Following her battle with depression, Maddisen has made it her mission to help other people through this journey and to bring joy to the lives of the people around her. 

You can find Maddisen on Instagram @maddisen.paige

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