"And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost." (NIV) Acts 13:52
It happened a couple of weeks ago. We were going about our family chores in the house when we all started smelling a gas odor. To make a VERY long story short, we were told that we had a leaky propane line. Not something anyone wants to hear. We were grateful for an evening of warmer temperatures and the next day a temporary tank and line were hooked up to our home until we could have the propane line from our larger tank repaired. As with many home projects, it is not an easy fix, but it is fixable! My husband and I are grateful for that and hope within the next couple of days, we will be "back in business" - especially as the colder weather is knocking at our doorstep here in New Hampshire.
That evening, and many evenings following that day, I have thought much about our leaky line. I pictured our tank being full, and then through a small leak, all of our propane was gone and we had nothing left. I have to share, I have felt much like that empty propane tank in my life. Yes, let me share.
There have been events in my life when I have been "filled up" with the Holy Spirit. I have felt full of God's word, God's strength, and God's love. It may have been a great sermon that truly left me full. It may have been a wonderful Christian music concert. There have also been times when I have chatted with a fellow Christian friend and have found myself full to the brim with God's love. There have also been times when I have read my Bible and a particular verse filled my soul. Yes, these and others have filled me up so that I could continue my days ahead with the fullness of Christ. Have you ever had the sensation of being "filled up" with the Holy Spirit? I pray you have felt this as I have!
Yet, I also have to share, that maybe days, or weeks, or months (or even years), after the "filling up", I have experienced the leaky pipe! It may be a slow leak, or it could have been a gushing break, but my pipeline to the Holy Spirit was losing gas. This leaky pipe has always been of my own doing - maybe "my ways" became stronger than God's ways (slowly but surely, that leak has occurred). Maybe it has been the leak of selfishness, or gossip, or judgment - yes, I'm not proud to say that those leaks have passed my lips. Then there is the strong break of the pipe - when I have been defiant to my Lord. Yes, those times have happened too. As you can see, none of these times have "filled me up", they have only created a leak or a break in my pipeline to God.
As with our home projects, the fix is not always easy. It takes time to reflect, repent, and rejuvenate. It takes work and time to be filled up again - getting back to my Bible, back to worship, back to my friends who fill me up. Aahhh, but when those moments happen, I can feel my pipeline being restored. The drive, the energy, the love that is in my heart continues to grow and, thank our Dear Lord, I am filled again with the Holy Spirit. Yes, as with our leaky propane tank, I am "back in business".
How about you? Do you have a slow leak in your pipeline to God? Maybe it is a huge break. Either way, remember, it is "fixable". God provides so much to us to gain a stronger relationship with him. Where should you start? For me, it starts with prayer. Reach out and talk to God, our Heavenly Father. He is on the other side of the pipeline - waiting for us to reach out to him and be restored. Talk to Him and let Him know what is in your heart. The healing will begin, the fixing will occur. Soon, you will be filled up - filled with the Holy Spirit. Here's to fixing our leaks!! The warmth that comes from a leak that has been fixed just doesn't happen in MY home, it happens in all of our hearts!