“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 (NLT)
The other day I left the hose on to fill up my little duck pond in the backyard. I have a fence I built that splits our backyard, separating the dogs from all the things the dogs may eat, and the little pond backs up right next to this fence. Consequently, from our back windows you cannot see the pond, and so often I move onto another task and forget that the water was still flowing.
10 minutes is all I usually need to fill up the pond sufficiently, so when it occurred to me that I had failed to turn the water off nearly three full hours later, the pond was more than overflowing.
In fact, the sight that resurrected my memory was a small river flowing from under the fence, across the yard and down to the back perimeter fence. The river was such that even the dogs had noticed and were having a ball splashing around.
All I could think of was the waste and the cost. All that water running across my yard would show up eventually on our water bill. I was so frustrated with myself, but guess what, the ducks were thrilled! Their pond was a lake in their eyes, as they now had more water than they knew what to do with. It was filled to the limit and then beyond!
When we read in Romans 15:13 that Paul prays that God would fill us with so much peace and joy that we would overflow with hope, Paul is not asking God to leave the hose on in forgetfulness. But instead Paul is pointing to a reality where God wants to make us overflow with hope and trust in Him. He is generous with His joy and peace.
He does not worry about the cost and waste as His joy flows across our hearts. And when our hearts do overflow, we like those ducks, won’t know what to do with it all!
Why does Paul ask for this? Because think of what we would be willing to trust God with if we overflowed with such hope! I pray that God would fill you beyond your limits with joy and peace so that you too may experience an overflowing heart.
Your friend in the Gospel,