Sunday, June 1, 2014
Fill My Cup
My soul has been deeply soaked in the love of my Lord, and I am sopping wet, just waiting to drench someone else. I hadn't expected to feel like this today. I'd planned to be a weepy mess while I have a few hours to myself, and to then function when I have to function. That was my plan. That's usually my plan. Get all the emotions and gunk out while no one's watching, and then suck it up and do your job.
It started last night. I was home alone, and though my heart was hurting, I thought I was doing okay. I just needed to recharge, that was all. And what an opportunity. I baked Paleo sunbutter bars (um, delicious) while watching Annie and belting out the songs at the top of my lungs. And then a text came in. I never finished Annie.
She asked for prayer. I had silently prayed some while Annie sang, "Tomorrow, tomorrow." We moved on to talking about my night for a minute. I was smiling and laughing. Then she said, "I'm depending on your covering tonight. Don't leave me hanging." She isn't one to beat around the bush, and she's always got this sixth sense known as the Holy Spirit in her. That's when I turned Annie off and moved to my knees. She sent specific prayer requests, and I started praying out loud. I felt the Lord's gentle leading and I almost wanted to yell at Him.
What the blimey was He thinking anyway?
My mind went back to the day before when had stumbled; when I had sinned. I cringed at the ugliness.
I had failed and I'd expected the silent treatment. Or maybe trust issues.
I mean, if a friend of mine had done something ugly and broken a promise she'd made to me, I might get angry, and even if I was nice about it, I wouldn't trust her for a while. I wouldn't steer her towards my favorite people and tell them to depend on her. It's just not logical.
But there I was. This wonderful, prayer warrior friend, was asking me for help. (Seriously, I am far from a pro pray-er. I know very well that she has people she could ask that would be way better equipped for this task.) I was on my knees, covered in shame, yet overcome by my love for this friend. (People I love are my soft spots. Hurt them and die.) I felt totally under-prepared and inadequate, and then I felt His arms and His leading. I was so undeserving of this. I wanted to tell the omnipresent God to go be with my friend. She deserved His help and comfort. Hello, I was praying for her. This wasn't supposed to be about me.
And then I got a glimpse of what He was doing. My girl was struggling. I was struggling. We were praying for each other. He was guiding us both. We encouraged one another, preached at the other, and ultimately at ourselves. It was an intentional, intimate time of healing and restoration. He was with us. My heart got full to overflowing with joy and truth. I cried on my knees with my head in a couch.
"God is not defined by love. Love is defined by God." (Heard this today, but don't know who said it first.)
This world has such a cheap definition of love. We've been so tricked by it, that we don't know what to do when we see the real thing.
God doesn't just love me when I keep from sin.
Now that I think about it, I think He may have shown me even more love in the sin ... because it made me realize that I was far from perfect. It showed me again how much I needed Him. I think that's more beautiful to Him than the self-reliant good girl act I'd been putting on. Sure, I wasn't stumbling drastically, but my soul was in a desert. I was surviving, but far from thriving. I was not depending on Him. I was an empty cup, desperately trying to make sure I looked full from the outside. God prefers the openly empty cup. It's honest, and admittedly in need of a refill. The Lord delights in filling us up.
Whatever is inside you will spill out when you're bumped. If you're full of anger, that is what people will see when you are jostled. If you are filled with grief, tears are what will spill. If you are empty, like I was, then when you are knocked over, people will see that you have nothing inside. A cup that is empty, but is reliant on it's own shape and ability to hold liquids is useless. It is meant to be filled. In the same way, if you are full of Christ's love and truth, life can throw all it wants at you, but that's what will come out of you.
I had expected to be rejected by my God, maybe just a little, for my blatant failure. I'd expected Him to push me away. God does not stoop to the world's standard of love. He loves me when I've sinned, while I sin, always, no more, no less. Always perfectly. He finds me when I'm covered in the blood of my own sin and shame, and He embraces me with a love so great and wild, I can scarce take a breath.
He whispered truth into my ear and I heard Him. Such a thing makes me want to listen for Him in every moment, and oh, that is not a bad desire at all. I want that habit. In a world full of lies, what else do we dare listen to but the voice of truth. The thought was shared with me today ... "come Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace." Forget the piano image. Think radio. Because His voice is always there. He is always there. He is always broadcasting, per se. We just have our minds and hearts tuned to other stations. Maybe we're so close to that notch, but His voice is nearly drowned out by static and advertisements from other, lesser sources that try and distract us and lead us astray. Oh, tune my heart to hear Your voice, Lord. You have given me a taste of Your presence and nearness, and I just want more. More of You. Less of me.
"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You." (Psalm 39:7)