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Controlled Flooding

Controlled Flooding

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)

I’m not really a science-type guy, but an Internet article on “controlled flooding” had caught my attention. Putting “flood” and “controlled” together seemed, well, interesting. I had been under the impression that floods were a God-thing.

Apparently, the Colorado River was flooding … on purpose. The vital wetlands along the banks of the river no longer appear because the river no longer floods. A wide array of wildlife no longer appears, because their wetland homes no longer exist. Because the powerful waters don’t flow through certain areas carrying material downstream, silt has built up on the bottom of the river. So a group of very intelligent scientists got together and developed a plan to purposely flood the river.

Why, you might ask, does the river no longer flood naturally (as God intended), creating these vital wetlands and silt-removers? The answer: the Colorado River is one of the most controlled rivers in the United States. Man-made dams and dikes now control the river so tightly that it no longer floods. The waters, once wild and erratic, are now quite predictable.

Predictability provides a certain comfort. But as far as the Colorado River is concerned, it’s control that’s killing it.

Sometimes I feel like that river. I have so many “dams” controlling my life; I know exactly where I’ll be and when. Somewhere between my work calendar’s dam and social calendar’s dam, I’ve settled into a scheduled life of planned predictability. My life is all but free of floods, but taking control of my life away from God has resulted in a very ordinary, ho-hum existence.

I was once in a prayer circle where a lady prayed for someone to have an uneventful flight. Since when do we pray for events to be uneventful? I don’t advocate praying for frightening plane rides or near-death experiences, but should we pray for predictability? Do you enjoy movies with uneventful, predictable plots? Do you really desire that for your own life?

I wonder what the Colorado River would be like if humans had never tried to control it. What different directions would the wild waters have gone? What wildlife would be along its shores and below its surface? I wonder how clear the waters would be.

And I wonder what my life would be like if I exercised less control and gave it over to God. I feel like some vital parts of my life have vanished and the junk is starting to pile up. I feel like I could use a good flood.

Dig Deeper:

Romans 8:19-25

Galatians 5:1-15


Dear Lord, I let go of the control in my life. I place everything I have into Your hands. I trust You with my life and my future. 

RELEVANT’s “Deeper Walk” daily devotionals are presented by the LUMO Project, a visual translation of the four Gospels developed to engage people with scripture in a new way. You can watch the videos—which redefine the standard of visual biblical media—on YouTube, and find out more about LUMO’s mission at their website.

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