Remember Mary? Not Jesus’ mother Mary, but Mary Magdalene, the one who pours all her expensive perfume on Jesus’ head and people get mad at her for “wasting” it. The reason Jesus wasn’t offended that she spent all her perfume on HIM (as opposed to selling it and giving the money to the poor) is because he knew this was an act of Love. Mary knew who Jesus was and she was cherishing her time with Him. I imagine she knew she was in the presence of the Messiah and this was the only thing she could think of to do that would honor Him in that moment. As usual, Jesus saw more than the act itself; He saw the intention (the heart) behind it.
You may also remember Jesus used this opportunity to remind people that He wasn’t going to be with them much longer, so it was good that Mary was savoring the moments they had together.
There are times even when Jesus walked the earth that he sent his disciples off by themselves to minister to people around them…without Him (he wasn’t with every disciple every moment). Jesus spent copious amounts of time with them, filling them with knowledge and wisdom, and giving them experiences that would verify who HE is. He encouraged them. He prepared them. And then he sent them out.
I’m beginning to think maybe there’s a pattern to how God works in our lives. Perhaps what we think is the Spirit abandoning us, neglecting us, or ignoring us, is really just Him sending us out. In those times of awesome spiritual highs, we need to take advantage of His undeniable presence, because that is when we are going to be filled, encouraged, and equipped. But we need to DO something with all of that encouragement and equipping. If we all just stayed on the mountaintop all the time, nothing would ever get done. No one new would come to Christ, no one new would have those mountaintop experiences because there would be no one to tell them about the One who brings us there.
God graciously pours out His spirit in varying measure, for our pleasure, but ultimately for His glory…for us to be able to do the work He’s called us to do.