Dec 7, 2011

teacup theology

Pour yourself a cup of your favorite herbal tea and take a few minutes to read through this  excerpt from Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow:
My favorite translation of Philippians 4:13 is from the late Greek scholar, Kenneth West:
 "I am strong for all things in the One who constantly infuses strengthen in me"
At all times, in all circumstances, Christ is able and willing to provide the strength we need to be content. Contentment occurs when Christ's strength is infused into my weak body, soul, and spirit. To infuse means to pour, fill, soak, or extract. Every morning when I dip my herbal tea bag into boiling water, I witness infusion.
How does God enable us to be content? He infuses contentment into us through His Word. As it seeps into our minds, it transforms us. Just as a cup of tea gets stronger when we give it time to steep, so we become more content when we spend time in God's Word and allow it to seep into our lives, transforming us to be like Him. 
God has lovingly assigned each of us to be a uniquely special teacup. Perhaps we're an antique cup, painted with dainty roses set in gold. Maybe we see ourselves as an everyday cup -- useful, but a little chipped around the edges. Or we could be a heavy-duty mug -- rugged, unbreakable, and able to hold much.
Then God fills our cup with our portion, what He determines is best. Our portion is our physical and emotional being, our abilities, circumstances, roles, relationships. Sometimes we don't like what's been poured into our cup. Remember the Lord Jesus in the Garden of Gethsamane. When He saw the suffering He was about to endure, He pleaded, "Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will but Yours be done" {Luke 22:42}. Christ grasped the handle of His cup and lifted it to God and said, "I accept My portion. Infuse Me with Your strength that I may drink."
Every cup -- whether dainty china or rough-hewn pottery -- has a handle. God has placed our portion in our cup. We either choose to grasp it by the handle and lift it to Him, saying, "I accept my portion; I accept this cup," or we choose to smash our cup to pieces, saying, "God, I refuse my portion. This cup is not the right size for me and I don't like what You've put in it. I'll control my life myself"

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength" {Philippians 4:11-13}

May we learn to "seep" in the Word of God, soaking in His Truth and allowing Him to teach us to be content. May we accept our portion -- however difficult it may seem -- as a divinely assigned cup, surrendering our own expectations in exchange for the joy of God's presence and peace in us.

So, my sweet sisters, hold onto the comforting hand of Jesus and let Him guide you through whatever valley you're going through, leading you to still waters and green pastures. 

Your sister,

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Elle Alice