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FULL TANK BY MANDI ARNOLD

It’s late, I am feeling so weary from a long day and a long season. We are locked down and the two core services my business provides are unable to operate. Calm seas turned into choppy waters overnight, leaving my bank balance reeling and steadily depleting.

Calls and emails start rolling in from all sides, the wolves at the door first politely requesting their payment and then the tone becomes less polite and the demands more insistent. My eyes are up and my boat is anchored, but my pretty mint & pink wallet is empty. The reality of this wrestles with my faith daily, leaving me feeling so tired. I am hopeful and confident in the provision of My King and my heart knows He will provide. But I’m exhausted from the reality of dragging the daily load.


As I get ready to close up my home office and unplug for the day, my homegroup leaders arrive. Community like a breath of fresh air. In between coffee and laughter and kids playing, my homegroup leader slips out with my car keys and takes a drive, returning with a full tank of petrol.

How do I articulate the gift of community in that moment?

I am loved. I am seen. My situation is known by those around me and they feel for me and stand with me. They do more than feel, they act. A simple gesture that fills not only my car tank but also my spiritual, emotional and physical tank. I am energised and encouraged by the simple act of kindness and generosity.

I have a long business trip to make tomorrow and it quite possibly will lead to potential income that will fill the holes in the boat; settle the debt and satisfy the wolves at the door. But I don’t really have cash to get myself there. And God knows that – and perhaps He ordained that to deal a death blow to my self sufficiency and self reliance. He sends His body, His people, my people to help.


It’s a beautiful, safe space to live in the orbit of community. In a world isolated and socially distanced and probably more polarised and divided that ever before, He puts us together because He knows we are designed to thrive when our roots are knotted together and our leaves and fruit intertwine.

I don’t walk alone. I walk among giants and ordinary unsung heroes who stand with me through mountains and valleys. And that gives me courage and makes me feel safe and known and supported.

Our stories are best told around the diningroom table, the braai fire, the birthday cake, the graveside, the hospital bed and the empty wallet.


1 Corinthians 12 in The Message sums it up perfectly -

By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything.

But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place.


The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.


Thank you Lord for full tanks and flourishing exuberance.



Mandi is a single mom of two gorgeous adopted girls. Having being in the corporate world for 25 years, I took the leap to start my own business 3 years ago, and have loved the entrepreneurial journey!


I wear 2 hats in my business, doing corporate interior decorating and overseeing a Conference Centre in Durban.

My FB page for my company Workflow - https://www.facebook.com/workflow.enrichingspaces/

I would describe myself as a creative, storytelling girly girl with a love for all things pretty.

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