Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Trying to Catch a Deluge in a Paper Cup

I have always loved the song, "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House.  The title of this post is from a line in that song. The line (not the entire song) reminds me of the times in my life when the floodgates have completely opened after a long period of emotional drought. The resulting monsoon of feelings can be all consuming.  Like trying to catch a deluge in a paper cup.  That poor flimsy thing doesn't stand a chance.  That, my friends, is when you have to call in the big guns (or cups).

In Luke 22:42, Jesus is praying to God.  He is deeply troubled with the knowledge of what is about to happen to Him, as the time of His death is drawing near. It is fair to say that he is overcome with floods of emotion.  I wonder, is he terrified?, sad?, anxious?, all of the above? as He prays, "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me.".  Jesus is obviously distressed.  The suffering for Him is inevitable.  It is a cup full to the brim and overflowing, and it's not some crappy paper contraption.  This is cup is the ultimate cup.  A cup poured out for me, you,  and all of humanity.  A cup full of the Living Water.

Here is the part of that verse that I really love as Jesus goes on to say, "Yet not my will, but yours be done." Jesus ultimately affirms that He trusts God with that cup, come what may.  God's will is done. Love poured out that day as Christ died.  Love came in a deluge of Living Water to wash over humanity.  Jesus suffered and died for us, washing us clean and paving the way to eternity.

As I struggle and, yes, even suffer in the messes of this life.  As the emotional floodgates open and nearly drown me.  I tend to see that "paper cup" and despair.  That cup can't hold it all.  That cup is too weak.  It's going to be destroyed.  I'm going to be washed away.  Then I remember Jesus, praying to God in that garden, fully aware of the suffering to come.  And God, fully capable of sparing Him the suffering. Yet, God's will was to spare me instead.  Me.  And you.

And though, I may (and have) suffered great loss and heartache in my life here on Earth, I know that this is my temporary home.  My real home is waiting for me, full of people that I love and that love me. My real home is with Jesus.  Though the sorrow may last for a night (or even a lifetime), joy comes in the morning.  I'm trading my sorrow, I'm trading my pain, I'm trading my sickness, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord.

One last thought, I love my life right here and now.  I am a very blessed wife, mother and child of God.  However, there is a bunch of junk from the past that I am sorting through.  It's a healthy process and I am glad for it.  That deluge of junk will not be poured out into a paper cup like it has been for years, because that does not work, but it will be given to God.  He is my comfort in times of trouble and He is mighty to save. His cup of love, grace and mercy is everlasting.

Wherever you are in your life right now, my prayer for you is that you will also trade any suffering for the joy of the Lord, and that the only paper cups in your life will be full of sweet tea at picnics. You know, the kind of sweet tea that you can stand a spoon up in? Is there any other kind really?

All of the photos above where taken on Governor's Island.  That island has a ton of history and it really intrigues me. 



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