I once heard a preacher give a pretty powerful illustration. He said, imagine I am holding a teacup and I pour a little tea into it. And then I pour a little more tea into the cup. And a little more and a little more. What’s going to happen when the tea reaches the top? What is going to happen to the liquid in the cup? He paused, for our thoughts to catch his. A little is going to spill out.
The cup, he said, represents our hearts. In order for our hearts to be full, something has to be poured in. The liquid in the cup, he continued, represents our growth in Christ. By spending time with him and growing in truth and wisdom our cup is filled little by little. And that very little that spills off the top, that is what we share with the world.
We cannot pour from an empty cup.
1 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever! Amen”
I have my days where I am running on empty. Sometimes my day begins at 4 in the morning with a sick kid who just won’t go back to sleep. I then try my best to meet the needs of each student I interact with during the school day, often failing at every turn. Next, I come home to a messy house and it’s 5 o’clock and I have no idea what’s for supper. I make it through dinner and bath, and finally get the boy into bed. My husband is waiting to finally spend some quality time with his loving wife, but after I have tried and failed to do it all by myself, there is not much love left in me.
In order to make the most impact we can on this world, in order to reach our full potential in Christ, on those days that we are running on empty we have to let Him fill us up. We have to stop looking around for help and start looking up. Our ministry is our daily life. The way we interact with our husbands, our children, our co-workers, and the peripheral people in our life is our ministry. Allow him to fill you up, little by little so that your actions, your reactions, your words, your deeds- that very little that overflows, is a reflection of the One who poured it into your heart.