Late on a recent Saturday night Terry and I sat in “Blue,” our 1976 Chevy pickup truck, wondering why it wouldn’t run. It had run—earlier in the day and only moments before. But now nothing. Just endless turning over but no firing of the engine. The truck sat in our front yard under a tree. We parked it there earlier so Jadon and his friends could line up their cars and take pictures before heading out to the Homecoming dance at the high school. They had of course all pilled in the truck and on the truck. Yet why it would not start perplexed us. But it would have to wait until the next day.
After lunch on Sunday I called our friend Paul who knows his way around old car and truck engines. He came over to take a look. He quickly determined that there was no issue with the cranking but there seemed to be no fuel reaching the engine. He sprayed some starter fluid into the carburetor as I turned the ignition switch. She fired but still would not run. Thus we knew getting fuel to the engine had to be the problem. As I sat in the cab it suddenly dawned on me. The truck has two, yes, two, gas tanks and a switch that sends the fuel to the engine from one or the other. I quickly looked at the switch; and, yes, it was switched to the empty tank! A quick switch to the other; a turn of the key; a few pumps on the peddle and it was running just fine again!
We then deduced that while the boys were in and out of the truck one of them had out of curiosity or unknowingly hit the gas tank switch. Once it was switched to the empty tank no amount of anything would have got the truck running. It had to be switched to the tank that had the fuel.
No fuel. No go. Isn’t that how it is! We can try our hardest. We can wish and want to. But without the gas to go we won’t get anywhere! How often have I tried and tried to get going and simply could not. My tank was empty. My tank was empty. Maybe like “Blue” we all have two tanks—one that is our own which we try to fuel our lives with our own efforts and strength. The other tank is not our own but holds the strength and abilities given to us by God. We like to be self-reliant; so we use and use and then exhaust every ounce of our own strength. Then we wonder why we can’t go anywhere. Maybe it is then that it dawns on us that we must switch to the true source of our strength, our Creator God. And that source is one that will not run out! There is always an abundant supply when we rely on God.
Tired? Exhausted? Out of gas? Realize you cannot rely solely on yourself alone. If you do, you will not make it. Instead, switch tanks! Go with the supply of strength that God can provide. And remember, it’s okay to sit in the yard over night in order to figure this out. A good night’s rest is always helpful too!