During one of our mission trips to Ghana; we visited the Akosombo Dam, a structure built in the 1960s that changed the course of Ghana’s economic life. The dam created Lake Volta a vital source of hydroelectric power, commercial fishing and irrigation. At both ends of the dam there are spillways; one side provides conduits for electric power generation and the other end provides relief for when flooding would threaten the dam’s integrity (see image below).
A passage from Colossians implies that we are like dams. We contain things that well up in us and eventually spill over…
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)
In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 2 Corinthians 8:2 (NIV)
These passages highlight the positive, stressing that a disciplined, healthy faith will result in us “overflowing with thankfulness”, “hope”, and “joy”.
Sometimes the flow is not necessarily positive. As Jesus taught about the link between our “heart” and our mouths…
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45 (NIV)
It seems that metaphorically we are reservoirs. We hold the potential to provide an overflow of blessing to those around us and we unfortunately also possess the potential to deliver destructive influence. What is coming out of our spillway? When others walk away from an interaction with us are they encouraged and built up? Do they sense God’s presence in us? What would happen if we overflowed with thanksgiving for the enormity of the grace we have received from God? What if that gratitude overflow were a daily discipline and habit of life rather than the occasional mountaintops?
This weekend we will resume our series in James; seeking to understand and apply a very important but often misunderstood passage (2:14-26). I hope you’ll be able to join us.
Looking forward to seeing you!