Overflowing is inevitable when the water flowing into a container is greater than the capacity of the container to hold it. Overflowing water can be destructive but it can also be life-giving.
This roving sprinkler system is irrigating wheat in the Saudi desert. The aquifer that is the source for this sprinklers contained 120 cubic miles of water 40 years ago but roughly four-fifths of that water has now been pumped out.
You can read more about this greening in the desert here.
Jesus talked about our words overflowing from our hearts, that what is inside of us will flow out. That is why this is such an important prayer:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15.13)
God is a source that will never run out and he is willing to fill us with his presence which includes joy and peace if we are willing to trust in him. Life is so full of sadness and pain so we need all the joy and peace that we can get. Christians talk about being filled with the Spirit (this means to receive the presence of God into our lives) but is the purpose of us being filled just for our own benefit? It shouldn’t be, God wants us to overflow with confident hope. God’s presence, joy, peace and hope is not something for us to try to hold on to just for ourselves.
Overflowing is inevitable when the water flowing into a container is greater than the capacity of the container to hold it. God is pouring into us as we trust in him and he certainly is greater than us so we should be leaking God’s presence wherever we go.
If we’re not overflowing with God, joy, peace and hope then perhaps we need to ask to be filled with more of the Holy Spirit. The aquifer I mentioned earlier is being filled by rainwater but the average rainfall in Saudi Arabia is less than eight inches a year. The water filling it is significantly less than the water being pumped out of it and this is a good description of many of us Christians. We rush around trying to do good and getting worn out because we are doing it all in our own strength rather than relying on God to fill us with his power.
We also need to consider if we are hindering the overflowing work of the God in and through us. God longs to flow out of us but are we trying to hang on to him? Do we have the faith and expectation that God will work through us when we are not in our church gatherings?
May God fill each of us so that we will overflow.