How Much Can You Hold?

As I've mentioned before, I love hot tea.  Chamomile, yum!  Mint, delicious!  Lemon, wow!  Ginger, oh my!  Honey, tasty.  Then, of course, there's the combination of all of the above.  Throw in some green tea or white tea or both, and you have quite a tasty blend.  During the cold months, I throw a bunch of tea bags in my coffee pot (which is used only for tea), and brew tea by the pot.  I won't tell you how many pots I drink in a single day.

Knowing my love of tea, my dear, sweet husband gave me a thoughtful gift at Christmas.  He presented me with a variety of Guayusa teas (my favorite) and two humongous tea cups.  I'm talking, each cup holds nearly a third of a pot of tea.  Oh, yeah!!!!  I love this because it means fewer trips back and forth to the kitchen to refill my cup.  Seriously, there's nothing worse than sitting at my computer, deep into the thought process of my current writing project, and reaching out to an empty cup.  Oh, the horror!!!!  As you can imagine, I have truly been enjoying my over-sized cups, even if they do present the side effect of extra trips to the bathroom.  Fortunately, my office is right next to the bathroom, so, no problem there.

As I drained one of my ginormous cups the other day, I found myself wishing that it still held more.  Evidently, I prefer super-super-sized cups!  (Maybe I ought to start drinking from the pot itself. Hmm!)  Anyway, as I thought on this, I realized that I have the same wish for my heart--I wish it held more.  More love.  More compassion.  More goodness.  More kindness.  More faith.  If only there were a way to super-size my heart, I thought, but on the very heels of that thought, I realized that I don't need to. 

What I need is not an enlargement of my heart but a serious cleaning of it.  You see, the reason my heart won't hold any more love or compassion or goodness is because it's too full of other things like pride, selfishness and bitterness.  These things are taking up room that could be occupied by things that are much better for me and for everyone around me.  And you know what?  They have to go!  There isn't enough room for both the fruits of self and the fruits of the Spirit.  Something has to be cast out, and there is no question in my mind as to what that is.  I need more room.  I may not be able to change the size of my heart (although according to Psalm 119:32, the Lord can), but I can certainly make more room for the things that are important.

Like my tea cup, my heart, even when filled to capacity, will still need to be refilled time and time again.  But once cleaned, each filling will provide me with enough love, kindness, faith, etc. to live and to share.  The extra will be available to pass on to my fellow man, just the way God intended.  And when I feel empty, I know that a thorough filling is only a prayer away.

I wonder today, how big is your heart?  How full is it?  Is there any room for the things of God?  Or do you, too, need a thorough cleaning?  To say that running out of hot tea is a horror may be an exaggeration on my part (possibly), but to run out of room for the fruits of the Spirit is truly a cause for dismay.  They are a necessity for our Christian walk, and without them, we cannot possibly live the lives that God has called us to live.  So, I ask you, how much of the things of God can you hold?

***Note:  As I was typing this post, Jason came in and started reading over my shoulder. (It was like Mrs. Carper's typing class all over again. Yikes!)  Anyway, he laughed at my comment about the horror of running out of tea, then promptly went to the kitchen to refill my over-sized tea cup.  What a husband!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23