“The water that I give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” – John 4:14
It seems like we’ve had more rain in the past 10 weeks than we have had in the past 10 years. Storms have boosted rainfall in California by 115%, which is good news. Still, I can’t seem to get enough of it. I relish every drop and, indeed, state water managers say that our reservoirs are still below normal for this time of year. Last weekend we visited my eldest daughter in the Bass Lake area where she is enjoying a semester in the Sierras with several other students. I recently learned that Bass Lake was once a lush valley, transformed in 1895 into the very first reservoir used to generate power and water for the San Joaquin Valley. As we were driving up to Bass Lake on Friday we entered yet another thunder storm, slowing our progress considerably but generating awe and delight in us at the same time.
On Sunday morning I took a walk down to the lakeshore, and was puzzled to see the lake at below normal levels. When I asked a local resident about this, I was told that PG&E actually released large amounts of water from the reservoir, to make room for the heavy rains expected again this weekend. The tremendous inflow of rainwater means that there needs to be a tremendous outflow, which is also a spiritual principle.
God promises Abraham that “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2-3). Similarly, the Lord declares that ‘I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground” so that others will turn to the Lord “…and adopt the name of Israel.” (Isaiah 44: 3-5). And Jesus promises that as we place our trust in Him he will give us the gift of living water “gushing up to eternal life.” Such a gift of life cannot help but spill over, touching those around us (John 4: 28-29). In other words, those who are blessed are to be a blessing. Those who are filled will overflow. Those who are drenched with God’s grace, will be able to deluge others with the same.
David cries out, “my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 61:1). There were times in the past five years when I thought I would never see it rain again in California. It was so dry I actually felt a sense of anxiety. Some of us may be feeling a kind of spiritual and emotional dryness for which only God’s grace and the love of his people can bring relief.
You and I become God’s overflowing reservoirs when we take time to pray, read, and meditate upon the Scriptures, sing or hum a hymn of praise, talk about Jesus with others, seek to relieve suffering, or do works of justice and mercy. The miracle of being God’s reservoir is this: that when we let God’s blessings flow through us to others, we receive more of the inflow of God’s blessings as well. Trust me. You cannot outpour God. For those around you who may be walking through a spiritual desert this week – whether at church, at school, in your office, or on the street, you can be a reservoir of living water. See you soon…