I glanced down at the gas gauge for the hundredth time in the past ten minutes.
The needle seemed to be plummeting downwards, and with each passing kilometer,
it came nearer to its final resting point: "E".
Under normal circumstances this might not have been a problem. I would simply have pulled into the nearest gas station and filled up. But these weren't normal circumstances. The next gas station was 120 km down the road, and at the rate the gauge was dropping, I'd be lucky to make it a quarter that far.
I sighed for the hundredth time in ten minutes. What were we going to do? In my mind I immediately began to chide myself for my poor judgment. When we had started out on this trek to see what the Saskatchewan tour book described as "desert-like conditions with cactus and sand dunes", we had known we didn't have much gas, and we had also known that there might not be too many gas stations along the way! But ever the cocky one, I pushed these worries aside. After all, this was farm country, and farmers had to buy gas somewhere! Well I still don't know where all of those farmers buy their gas, but certainly not on that road leading out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan!
My eye dropped to the gauge again. Another sigh. The needle was even lower. There was nothing left to do buy pray, and that I began to do: Fervently! "Lord," I began, "Here I am again, nearly out of gas, and I know good and well you tried to warm me to fill up before leaving Moose Jaw! Lord, I honestly thought there would be gas out there! Lord, . . ." And I continued to babble. Over the back of my babble I could hear someone trying to interrupt, but it wasn't until I hushed long enough to listen that I could understand the words: "Lyn, give ME the problem. Let ME take care of it!"
"But . . . Lord . . . I KNOW You! You just might look at this as an opportunity to teach me a lesson, and no matter how badly I need to learn that lesson, NOT HERE LORD! Running out of gas would ruin our vacation!"
But when I stopped for breath, I heard Him again: Lyn, give ME the problem. Let ME take care of it!"
I'd like to say that I gave in then and there, but I didn't. God and I proceeded to argue for several more minutes. In fact, I didn't stop until the "YOU NEED GAS" light came on! Great! Now what! I had no options whatsoever. Except . . . Except what God was telling me to do! And I gave in. "Okay, Lord!" I said with a sigh. "It's Your problem! I accept whatever you want to teach me with this! Thank you for taking care of us!"
My son, who had obviously been watching the gas gauge from the back seat, immediately called out: "Mom! The gas light just went off!"
Sure enough, it had. The moment I surrendered that gas situation to God, the light went off.
We made it back to Moose Jaw without incident, but when we pulled into the first available gas station, my husband put 79 litres of gas into our van. Our van's tank holds exactly 79 litres.
"We were running on air, mom!" Piped in my youngest son.
"No, son," I said, rather humbly, "We were running on Jesus!"
The doubt didn't set in until I was making my daily run around the campground the next morning. I found myself thinking, "You know, I bet we wouldn't have run out of gas anyway! There may not have been a "miracle". We had enough gas! After all, you always have a few litres left in the tank when the light comes on!"
Ashamed of my thoughts, I turned to God, fully expecting Him to assure me that a miracle had, indeed, occurred. He didn't. Instead, what I heard from the Lord was this: "What does it matter if there was a miracle in the gas tank or not?"
"Huh?" Cried my heart. "What do you mean, 'what does it matter'? It matters a lot! So many people just write off your miracles as things that would have happened anyway. I want to be able to prove to the world that You are still in the miracle business!"
God's reply? "It doesn't matter if it was a miracle in your gas tank or not! A miracle still occurred!"
"Huh?" I repeated.
"A miracle still occurred!" He repeated. "You gave Me the problem. You let Me worry about the gas. You passed the test!"
I nodded my head, but I was still confused. "And so . . ."
"When you surrendered the gas to me, you were filled with peace!"
"You stopped worrying and fretting!"
"Yes . . . But . . ."
"The important thing that happened yesterday was NOT that you DIDN'T run out of gas, but that you DID succeed in surrendering a huge problem with horrible significance into My hands! You passed the test. The miracle happened in your heart!"
It only took a moment of contemplation for me to understand: I had been looking for a miracle in the gas tank; God had been looking to work one in my heart. It didn't matter whether we really had would have run out of gas or not. A miracle had most certainly taken place!
Friends, the reason we are allowed to suffer trials is not always that God wants to work miracles in our surroundings, but that God wants to work miracles in our hearts! "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces PERSERVERANCE; perseverance, CHARACTER; and character, HOPE. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (Rom 5:3-5 NIV)
The next time you are running on air, either literally or figuratively, remember to give God the problem. Only then will you see the biggest miracle, the miracle of the heart!
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
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