Before I stepped out of the car, I heard the deep-voiced roar of Elk Falls echoing up from the ravine below. I made my way carefully down a winding path, with the increasing thunder of the falls reverberating in my chest. The surrounding dense rain forest dripped with mist created by the swollen river cascading from it’s rock-strewn bed in a high free fall to the deep pool below. The constant overflow of glacial river water was mesmerizing, ever moving, a living force breathing mist and noise into the atmosphere like a prehistoric dragon. I thought about the thousands of years this particular flow of water had carved its way into the landscape, shaping the rocks and terrain bit by bit on its way to the sea.
God’s Word speaks often of abundance, generosity, and overflow, mostly in connection to the blessings of God to His children. His blessings run like a mighty river, cascading down in an overflowing stream of His good gifts and grace to undeserving mankind.
I have no problem imagining the never ending stream of God’s gifts because I know He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider, able to supply all I need and more. When I contemplate the abundance of God’s gifts to me, my heart spills over with gratitude.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Col. 2:6-7 NIV)
I well remember the exhilaration of my early years of faith in Christ, yet they pale in comparison to the deep roots He has grown in me since, building and strengthening me on a firm foundation. Every trial He sees me through, every sure indication of His love and guidance, every reminder of how He cherishes me as His child, causes me to overflow with thanksgiving.
When I lived near Elk Falls, there were seasons when drought caused the falls to dwindle to a trickle. Spiritual drought has reduced my thanksgiving to a trickle at times, yet I recall that I am to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(1Thess.5:18) Thanksgiving, even in difficult trials, has a burgeoning effect. The more gratitude offered to a God who has limitless reasons to be thanked, the more thanksgiving overflows. And as words of thanks pour from a grateful heart, they carve the spiritual landscape of a person’s soul, forming a picture of Jesus.
Jesus said, “The heart overflows in the words a person speaks; your words reveal what’s within your heart.” (Luke 6:45 The Voice) His words reveal a heart overflowing with love and compassion for those He came to save. I want my words to reveal an abundance of thanksgiving to Him, coming from a heart overflowing with devotion and gratitude for Who He is and all He has given.
(oil painting of Elk Falls by the author, Valerie Ronald)