Friday, March 20, 2015

What's In Your Cup?

I have especially learned gratitude for all those moments when the unexpected has transformed my life into an abundant cup of blessings. ~Joyce Rupp

My mother’s files and notebooks hold a wealth of spiritual lessons. The inspiration for this post was found among them.

We cup our hands around the thin china, heat seeping through to warm our hands. This daily rhythm around the world connects us in a way coffee never can. Over the amber hue of black tea, the mellow flavor of green tea, or the more expensive white tea of Asia, friendships are formed or grown. Around the world, 38 billion cups of tea are consumed every day.


Despite the comment above about coffee, 400 million cups of the dark liquid warm us and awaken us each day. Add to that hot cider and hot chocolate, we are a cuppa world.

We sip tea from fragile china or curl our hands around thick pottery brimming with coffee. There are Biblical cups in Scripture, too. Cups filled, not with coffee or tea, but with kindness, blessings, and even sorrow. 

1. Cup of Blessings

The Psalmist, once a lowly shepherd boy, likens the Lord to a shepherd. He writes how God supplies his needs, how He leads, restores, and anoints. By the time David compiled the blessings of the Shepherd, he was blessed beyond measure, writing, My cup runs over (Psalm 23). Someone said, “It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.” Write a list of your blessings and your cup will run over.

2. Cup of Kindness

Jesus taught, If you give a cup of cold water to the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded (Matthew 10:42). Kindness doesn’t need to be a large act, just a simple kindness, a cup of water or a gift card for the coffee shop, a smile or quick hug, an hour of childcare or a plate of cookies. Jesus tells us, When you do it to these my brothers, you are doing it to me (Matthew 25:40).

3. Cup of Sorrow and Suffering

This cup is harder to swallow. Jeremiah said, He has…given me a cup of deepest sorrow to drink (Lamentations 3:15). Jesus, too, talks about His cup of suffering: If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matthew 26:39).

4. The Dirty Cup

But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness” (Luke 11:39). What would our cups look like if we just cleaned the outside but left the ring of tea on the inside? Are we guilty of dressing up in our religious garb, yet leaving anger, unforgiveness, immorality, etc., in our hearts?

What’s in your cup today?


Esther Joy said...

Enjoyed your post once again, Pamela! Shared it with my niece...

Hazel Moon said...

How lovely to study cups in scripture. All the way from sorrow to joy with gratitude. Loved this post

Anita Johnson said...

I found this to be a very interesting post too. Never put together all the " cup" references in the Bible. Thank you...

Amy said...

Well that was a fun read...thanks for sharing the cups in the bible!

Laurie Collett said...

What a lovely post, Pamela! I am drinking green tea as I write this! May our cup runneth over with His great blessings!
Love in Christ,

Jedidja said...

Thanks for this sweet post. I prefer coffee :-) But your post is beautiful and biblical.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful words, Pamela. Your Mom's writings are chock-full of wisdom. What a treasure you have! So thankful to see that you had stopped by my blog...I so appreciated the encouragement you left behind. Trusting all is well with you and yours. Much love to you.

Cheryl said...

Pamela, I wanted to let you know that I tried to sign up to receive your posts by email, and it is saying that the mail list is not wouldn't allow me to finish the process. Just thought I would let you know in case others are having the same issues. :)