While talking with another pastor who has also been enduring some stress lately, I think I came up with the perfect word picture for how I'm feeling: a garden hose. Here's what I mean.
When the faucet knob is turned to the on position and water rushes toward the rose bush or the family sedan, the hose is filled with water to capacity. That's because a garden hose is only full when it's being used. When the job is done and the knob is wrenched to the off position the hose falls limp and only a trickle of water remains.
When I'm being used by God to do what I've been gifted to do I'm full of His Spirit. When I'm through I fall limp into a recliner. Only a trickle of the Spirit remains. When I'm being used I spill out onto others. When I'm not, I can barely muster a drop. So what to do?
Find more occasions to be used by the Spirit. If the Spirit fills me (us) when He empowers me (us) to do His will, then it makes sense to be sensitive to God's will so I (we) may be used more. The result will be more power, enthusiasm (literally to be filled by God) and joy. So Lord, turn the knob full throttle and point me where you choose! I need the Joy!
Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.