In the days of large sailing ships it was said that vessels travelling 100 miles off the coast of Brazil, as they passed the point of the mouth of the Amazon River, could lower a bucket overboard and draw up fresh water. Imagine the enormous volume and force of the water flowing down that river!
Christ says that the forgiveness of God that flows from His death on the cross is like that! It is a ‘torrential flood’ that nothing can stop. So, He said that we must believe and practise forgiveness even 70 x 7 times (Mt 18:22) – i.e., too many times to count…I failed maths!
There are no dams on the Amazon (although some of its tributaries have dams); it is too great a flood of water to dam up. As we receive forgiveness, so we are to give it away as freely to all others. If we were to try to keep it to ourselves, deny it to others, ‘dam it up’, we would be attempting the impossible, resisting and living against the flow of this great ‘flood’.
This is what happens to the unforgiving servant in Jesus’ parable, forgiven so abundantly and freely by his master, yet turning around and denying that same forgiveness to someone who had wronged him. We can all do this!….To do this emotionally and spiritually crushes us, and will eventually smash us to pieces!
We are to accept, embrace and ‘go with the flow’ of the ‘torrential flood’ of God’s forgiveness; freely acknowledging our need of it, deeply receiving its cleansing and healing, freely giving it to all.
Grace and peace, Jonathan