After reading Every Does by Bob Goff last year, I adopted his idea of visualizing my inside as a bucket ( I did not carry a full-sized bucket like he did though). The idea of starting, and keeping my proverbial bucket aka heart, filled by Christ impacted my thoughts. The significance of allowing the Holy Spirit to fill me full and allow me to be satisfied in Him, so that when I was bumped up against, the overflow would be something life-giving and worth the other person catching was not lost on me. The bucket idea that Bob Goff was talking about came from a children’s book he read which I have now come in contact with as I have been subbing, Have you Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.
The children’s picture book talks about us all having a bucket that can be filled or emptied by ourselves or others. “You fill a bucket when you show love to someone, when you say or do something kind or even when you give someone a smile.” That is being a bucket filler but you can also “dip into a bucket and take some good out when you say or do mean things, or even ignore someone. That’s bucket dipping.” The author talks about empty bucket people who try to fill their buckets by dipping into some else’s bucket, but that just empties both buckets, but when you fill someone else’s bucket it fills both yours and theirs.
I appreciate the way that Bob Goff talked about his bucket, and filling his with “immense patience” so he could fill other people’s buckets, especially very difficult people’s buckets. I started thinking about what a Biblical concept this simple children’s book is, and how many times I have seen it go awry in others and my own life. In Philippians, Paul encourages us to fill our “buckets”, “finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things… and the God of peace will be with you.” (4:8-9) Fill that bucket with all the goodness of God. Remember to give thanks and look for God’s fingerprints and not only will our bucket be filled to the brim with the goodness of God and His generous gifts, but we will have God’s presence which is a peace that passes all understanding. Having a bucket full allows us to see others better and generously pour into someone else’s. As Bob Goff says, “give love away like you’re made of it...”
A couple of years ago my Sunday School class went through Lysa Terkeurst’s Uninvited curriculum. One thing we have held onto from it is the quote, “Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love. Live loved.” Live loved has now become our ladies’ group tag line. We continue to remind each other about intentionally letting Jesus define us, satisfy us, and direct us so that we will not be begging for it in all the wrong places. It has been a journey of learning and growing for many of us. It has allowed us to see others that continue to return to their folly with compassion and deep prayers for healing and freedom for their lives.
I would love to say I have this habit down of keeping my bucket full ready to go, but unfortunately I catch myself begging for scraps of love at times. The good part of being on the journey is that I tend to recognize it a bit sooner. I start to feel that unsettled angst and practice being still, allowing God to show me Himself and how He is more than enough for my bucket… for my life, and for all those around me. Anything others pour in is extra blessings that can be poured to others. There is always more than enough in the kingdom. I do not need to walk around like a beggar trying to get my bucket filled. Choosing to walk in this truth takes intentionality on my part because God is always ready and willing to fill whatever I bring.
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37