What’s In The Cup?

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In a worship service recently, we sang the worship song “Your Presence Is Heaven” by Israel Houghton.  I’m sure you are already familiar with it, but just in case you aren’t, here are the lyrics.

Who is like You Lord in all the earth?
Matchless love and beauty, endless worth
Nothing in this world can satisfy
‘Cause Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

Your presence is heaven to me
Your presence is heaven to me

Treasure of my heart and of my soul
In my weakness you are merciful
Redeemer of my past and present wrongs
Holder of my future days to come

All my days on earth I will await
The moment that I see You face to face
Nothing in this world can satisfy
‘Cause Jesus You’re the cup that won’t run dry

Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus
Your presence is heaven to me
Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus
Your presence is heaven to me

I’ve sung this song before and it always makes an impact on me.  This particular time was no different.  But, this line I have sung so many times, really struck my heart on this particular day.

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‘Cause Jesus you’re the cup that won’t run dry. 

I think I came to understand something in a new way.

Jesus never runs out of the answers, strength, provision, wisdom, help, protection, or love….and the list goes on and on….I desperately need!!

Whatever I need, He is!

There it is, plain and simple.

And He NEVER, EVER stops being what I need!  His supply is endless.  He is endless. It just never runs out!  My supplies and resources always run low or run down.  But, He has everything I need, when I need it.  Furthermore, He knows what I will need before I am even aware I need it.  How amazing is that?

As I stare down a new phase of our story, and feel the full weight of the pain and ugliness, my heart is heavy.

I’m not up for more pain, more hurt, more anxiety, or more injustice by misguided people.

I don’t want to live out the big fear made reality.

I said this to God in worship that day.  Wearied by just the thought.  I’m just not up for it.  This fear and anxiety and always looking over my shoulder.  The fear of your child having to relive the pain or face down the ugly once again.  I have enjoyed my hard won peace.  We have fought for and found our peace.

But, God helped me understand He has everything I need to handle the story with grace and peace.

HE is EVERYTHING I need for this leg of the journey.

We won’t fight this part of the battle with old, decayed supply.  It is brand new supply from here on out.  He has taught me new wisdom and has strengthened me through old battles, which has prepared me for the new battles to come.

Unlike our earthly supply, He won’t grow stale, run down, or run out.

I can rest in Him, without ceasing, and He will NEVER, EVER fail me.

Furthermore, He saw this coming and is fully prepared to lead us all the way home.  What a relief and peace that comes from this knowing.  He knows my future days to come.  He knew this was the future day to come.  He knew the weaknesses I would feel and will be merciful to me.  He is sufficient supply for whatever I am not.

It stirs my heart encountering the personalized experiences God uses to speak big and powerful messages to me.  He knows the grief and the pain that come surging to the surface in a split moment.  One text can change things.  One email can shatter calm.  But, God knows—He isn’t surprised. He is unending.

Life is often unpredictable.

But God is not.  Many times we are left scratching our heads, searching for answers.  But God does not.

I will rest in the knowing.  I will rest in the peace only He gives.  I will not look into an empty cup.  For it does not exist.  He is my cup that NEVER, EVER runs dry.

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I am wondering.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation which requires something you do not possess on your own?

I would love to hear your comments (post below).  We can learn from each other.

Hope is stirred when a heart has found what it needs…sometimes we need to hear from someone else’s point of triumph or learn from their sting of adversity!

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Forgiveness…..It Makes Me Sweat

Forgiveness.  The word makes me sweat.  

I am an emotional person.  I feel things deeply. I take things to heart.  My heart gets bruised.  And, it’s not just about me.  I am madly in love with my husband and children.  They are my world.  When they hurt, I hurt. When bad things happen to them, it might as well be me!  I am very emotive….so much estrogen.  Just ask my family.  (Think mother bear!)

The biggest lesson of my life came in October 2011.  Desperate to end his nightmare, our child spilled his hurt and pain to my husband.  We knew this person.  We thought she was safe—she wanted to be a youth pastor and we were mentoring her towards that end.  We thought we knew and understood her well.

Apparently, we didn’t.

The days that followed were full of rage, pain and complete shock.  We navigated the legal system, detectives, and victim advocates in a haze of unbelief.  Not unbelief of our child’s story.  We never doubted him.  Sitting in the detective’s office, trying to answer endless questions, we just couldn’t figure out how we had gotten to this point.

How could someone do this to one of our own and to our family?

I never dreamed, in all my days, I would be sitting

in a courtroom listening to all the graphic details of the abuse.

Who does?

Betrayal of any kind is painful. 

At this level, it was hard to breathe.  We had done so much to better the life and future of this caregiver; providing opportunities for a future that would not have come anywhere else.

We did receive justice in the legal system. We are grateful.  It started the healing process for our boy and for us. We felt heard and understood.  Unfortunately, in today’s culture, male victims of female perpetrators many times don’t receive equal justice.   But, we did. And that is nothing short of a miracle.

But, see, this is where it gets gritty.

As Christ Followers, we are taught to forgive.

  For the longest time I wasn’t in any place to forgive.  I needed  time and space to process and heal.

And I honestly think God was okay with that.  I learned something important.

Everybody moves at their own pace and the journey is cyclical—just like in the grieving process.

FORGIVENESS   IS   NOT   EASY   NOR   CHEAP.

I have to say, there are some days I don’t feel as if I have forgiven very well.  Most days, three years isn’t long enough to pay for the level of trauma, fear and pain he endured.  And, if I am really honest (please allow me),

I can’t understand how God could forgive this, much less me.

 

I know this: If I surrender my deep betrayal and pain to God, and follow His lead, He will walk me through this difficult journey of forgiveness.

I am learning that forgiveness is a journey.

This past week was a perfect example of how much work I have left to do, but how far I have come!  It was a milestone in our journey.  He knows we are human.  We are not perfect in this earthly skin.

I think forgiveness isn’t a one and done type of thing either.

It is a process—a lifelong journey that brings great peace.  I imagine I will work the rest of my life to forgive fully and completely as I know Christ does.  I know God knows my humanity.

He gives me strength and power to do what I can’t seem to do on my own.

As you can see, it makes the top 10 of the hardest lessons I will learn in life.  And I’m still trying to figure it all out.  It is a team effort with God leading the way.  I’ll follow in His footsteps and I know all will be alright.

What about you?  Do you have something that screams for forgiveness but you just don’t know how?  Can you give yourself grace knowing God does when you are walking hand in hand….moving in His unhurried rhythms of grace?

 

My friend, I know it is hard.  I hate the cliches.

But, God is jealous for you and is aware of your pain.

Sit and listen for His rhythm of grace.