Few things in life make me happier than a smooth, warm beverage.
From peppermint tea to hot chocolate to my favorite doctored-up cup of coffee, drinking a warm beverage out of one of my favorite mugs makes my heart sing with joy.
It’s not just a taste thing for me– it’s a total body experience. On those cool fall mornings or perhaps right before bed as I wind down from a long day, my whole being is just moved by my cup filled with liquid awesome.
There’s really only one warm beverage that not only fails to bring me joy, but it is something I avoid at all costs… Theraflu.
When I was younger, I would, as most kids do, tend to get sick on occasion. My loving Mama would doctor me up. I would be snuggled down on the couch, kleenexes within reach, Vicks Vapor rub smeared on my chest… then suddenly, it happened.
The microwave beeped. I knew what was coming.
Theraflu. I tell you what– I just couldn’t do it. If upset stomach wasn’t one of my symptoms when I started, it sure was by the time I finished choking it down.
Psalm 16:5 says “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup…”
And lets be honest. Sometimes the portion in our cup is glorious peppermint tea… and other times it’s closer to the likes of Theraflu (or whatever beverage you aren’t such a big fan of.)
But God expects us to drink it. He gave it to us– and He knows what is good for us.
Even if it makes us gag. (Or cry. Or rebel. Or whatever your choice reaction/emotion happens to be.)
This concept of gratefully drinking the portion God dumps in my cup was really brought to light as I worked through our current Bible Study “Calm My Anxious Heart.” I was really moved by the thought of being grateful and content no matter what.
And then I was convicted. Kind of a lot.
Because I have to admit– there are some days that God gives me a Theraflu-like portion, and instead of saying thanks and choking it down because I trust Him, I throw a tantrum.
Enter stage left: The ungrateful, discontented heifer. (SIGH.)
When something that I don’t want to drink what is put in front of me by God, I cop an attitude. My heiferish self slaps the cup away, I cross my arms and start back talking. “God, I don’t WANT this! It is too hard to swallow! Why can I have something better?!”
Linda Dillow reminded me that “Contentment is a state of the heart, not a state of affairs.”
So I have been literally visualizing my current “cup” that God has given me: I see a big sturdy mug with the words “Army, Georgia, Ministry, Drill Sergeant, Pregnancy” written on it. Then my portion depends on what God gives me each day.
One way that I have really been focusing on this journey to contentment is taking to heart, memorizing and living “Ella’s Prescription for Contentment” in our study. It says:
*Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not even the weather
*Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else
*Never compare your lot with another’s
*Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise
*Never dwell on tomorrow –remember that [tomorrow] is God’s, not ours
Here’s a couple of questions to ponder (and perhaps answer/leave a comment below!):
1. Which one of Ella’s Prescription steps do you struggle with the most?
2. What does your “cup” and “portion” look like right now? Is it like peppermint tea? Or more like Theraflu (or whatever other beverage you aren’t a huge fan of?) How can you drink it more gratefully?
Sweet friends… I’m so thankful to be sharing this journey with you. For my heart today, the bottom line is that GOD GIVES US OUR PORTION… As in, it’s FROM HIM. Our cup has been filled up. So we need to drink up.
“Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” ~Matthew 26:27-28
For those of you doing the online bible study “Calm My Anxious Heart,” here is the homework for week #2. Happy learning!!
Day 1: Read Chapter Two of “Calm My Anxious Heart”
Write Philippians 4: 6 -8 on a card and go over it every day. Pray it. Praise God with it! Memorize it. You can do it. You’ll be glad you did.
Day 2: Study Guide (back of book)
Questions 2, 3
Day 3: Study Guide
Questions 4, 5, 6
Day 4: Study Guide
Questions 7, 8a and 8b
Day 5: Study Guide
Write in your journal what you learned about God this week, what you learned about yourself this week. Write a prayer to remember what God has taught you.
The following stuff is “extra.” As in, if you have time and like this kinda thing, great. Otherwise, don’t worry bout it!
Word Study: Phil. 4: 6
Word Study: Phil. 4:7
Word Study: Phil. 4: 8
Admirable (Good Report)
Helpful Study Tools:
Strong Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Zondervan. (around $20.00)
The Complete Word Study New Testament, edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., AMG Publishers. (around $40.00)
A Good Study Bible – NIV has a great study bible
Crosswalk.com search engine