One stormy night, a young mother was awakened in the middle of the night by the cries of her young child. She quietly got up and went to the child’s room, scooping him up in her arms to comfort him. Her heart felt like it was literally bursting with love … so full … she loved him so much. This actually had her quite worried. You see, she was pregnant with another child, and could not fathom that she would have enough room in her heart for this new life within her. And if she did love this new little one, would she love her firstborn less?
As she sat rocking her child, deep in thought, the lights went out. Reaching for matches, she lit a candle nearby. She then used that candle to light a few more, all the while staring at the first candle. The flame was still the same size as when it was the only candle burning … even though she had used that one candle to light several others!
Then, light flooded her soul … she understood. Loving another child … or children … would not diminish the love for her first child. She’d have enough for both. Her love would grow.
Love is just one thing that cannot be measured in the conventional way. We don’t have two cups of love and give a spoonful here, and a cupful there. I am reminded of a story of Jesus found in three gospels (Matthew 9, Mark 5 and Luke 8). Jesus was on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter. Many people were crowding around Him … touching Him … jostling Him … but one touch was different. Jesus felt power leave Him … healing power. A woman with “an issue of blood” … that hadn’t stopped for twelve years … touched Him in faith … and was healed instantly. Now Jesus wasn’t worried if He had enough healing power left for Jairus’ daughter … He wasn’t “down a quart.” But He was so aware of the Holy Spirit’s power and Presence on Him that He noticed the change.
Again, Holy Spirit’s Presence and power in our hearts is without measure. We cannot “run out.” But Holy Spirit can spill over and touch those around us.
There is another story, again in several gospels. Matthew 10 tells of Jesus sending His twelve disciples on a field trip. They had watched Jesus teaching about the Kingdom of God and healing people. Now it was their turn.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts — no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.
Matthew 10: 5-13
I’ve often wondered about how they were to let their peace rest on the house they were staying at. I mean, did they say “Hello, house” … and reach in their pocket to pull out their peace and put it on the mantle – and take it with them when they left! How did that work? And if their peace was resting on the house, did they get “unpeaceful” until they got it back? No. Again, like love and Holy Spirit’s Presence and power … peace cannot be measured either.
How can we do this? In Luke’s version of this story, he says, “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ So, they gave their peace to the house through the spoken word. They were to take the peace that they were given by Jesus, and speak it. That is how they gave their peace.
Does that idea seem strange to you? We know we can “add fuel to the fire” by speaking anger into a fight or disagreement. We know that speaking lovingly can help diffuse an argument. Yes, there is power in our words. But there is much more.
What … or Who … is inside us? If we have asked Jesus into our hearts … into our inmost being … He is there! His Presence includes peace, hope, faith, truth, love, wholeness … and that is just the beginning!
So, what do we do with this? There is an interesting statement in Matthew 16:19, right after Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Just a couple of chapters later, talking about “people problems,” we are told in Matthew 18:18 …
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Two entirely different contexts but the same word… WHATEVER. Whatever includes … well … whatever. Whatever situation you are in … whatever (or whomever) you are dealing with … you can loose on earth and it will be loosed in heaven.
But loose what!?!?! We can loose what is in us. (Loose … let go … set free … not lose, as in lost.)
We see Jesus doing just that when He calmed the storm. He spoke His Peace to the wind and the waves. And they were stilled.
Has a friend lost hope? We can “loose” our hope to them. Does someone have no faith? We can “loose” our faith to them, while theirs grows … or comes back. How about a situation filled with turmoil? We can “loose” our peace … we can declare the Peace of Jesus over that situation. He told us He gave us His peace in John 14:27.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
We may feel like we have a limited amount of peace … or love … or hope. But Jesus does not give these “as the world gives” … stingily. No, He gives abundantly … lavishly … enough for us and others.
I want to be so aware of You,
That I KNOW Your heart for those around me.
Fill me so full of You
That I splash onto others.
Teach me to speak
Your Love, Your Peace,
Your Faith, Your Hope…
To those around me, and
To the situations in this world.
Thy Kingdom Come,
Thy Will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven.