Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Cup Psalm 16:5

"LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup."
Psalm 16:5a

As we go into Easter week, often I will reflect on a day by day look at the events in Jesus' life those last seven days.  In the garden as he is being arrested, Jesus says to his disciples "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" (John 18:11).  This little symbol of the cup holds so much meaning in Scripture.  While the disciples are waiting for Jesus in the garden and falling asleep, Jesus is praying "Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." (Matthew 26:42)  He is saying..."Not my will but YOURS, Father."  At the last supper Jesus shares with his disciples, he uses a cup to tell them about the new covenant His blood will seal for them.  A cup....a symbol....rich with meaning.

The Lord alone is my cup.  The feminine of this noun in Scripture has a meaning of "to hold together".  The cup that holds me together.  Psalm 23:5 talks about my cup that overflows.  In Psalm 116:13 David cries out "I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord."  Jeremiah 25 reveals about the cup of the Lord....the cup that makes us stagger, a cup of God’s wrath.  I am not going to build a theology around cups, but I just find it interesting the symbolism that surrounds a simple tool we use to eat and drink.

I love cups....for some weird inexplicable reason, I am drawn to glasses and cups in a kitchen store.  My cupboards are filled with a variety of glassware and mugs...cute dainty tea cups and hefty bright colored mugs.  Depending on what I drink determines which cup I reach for.  What is equally strange is I seem to have passed this on to my daughters unknowingly...when they eat ice cream or yogurt, do they reach for a bowl?  No, a nice goblet will do just fine.

What is the deciding factor when you reach for a drinking vessel? How many of us would rather drink a nice hot cup of coffee from a stoneware mug or a styrofoam cup??  What tastes better?  It really does make a difference to our taste buds what we drink from.  Ice water on a hot summer day....mug or frosted glass?  Hot chocolate in front of the fire....that favorite comfort mug.
After my father died, one thing I wanted was one of his mugs....he had these thick hefty white ceramic mugs you would see in a truck stop.  It was "him".  He always drank his coffee from these. He said it just tasted better.

The Lord has assigned me my portion and my cup....what cup do I pick to drink from???  The one He gives me.....the one that overflows.....the one that HOLDS ME TOGETHER.

I saw a movie awhile back where a woman makes a list of describing “perfect man”.  She meets two men - one who fits most of this list and one who is more on the "imperfect" side and grates against her from time to time...she discovers there isn’t much excitement in what she deemed perfect,  but predictably the one she does fall in love with is imperfect.  At one point in the movie when she meets Mr. Imperfect he is a barrista in a coffee shop.  She orders coffee...her “perfect cup” - what she is used to... but this man will not serve her what she “wants” but what he thinks is more “her cup”, what he believes suits her.  I thought, hmmm...how many times do we try to drink the cup we are familiar with or what we think is "best" for us or "perfect" and God has a different cup for us.  

Another thought, what happens when we break a cup?  If it is a favorite, we try and glue it back together.  Will it leak?  Can it handle the weight of the liquid?  We do what we can to make it useable, because we don't want to throw it away. In my house usually if a cup breaks, it gets thrown away.  When we are broken, what "glue" holds us together?  

Aren't you glad the Father doesn't throw us away?  He gently places those pieces back together.  He glues them - yes, there may be some visible cracks...maybe barely discernible, but we are together.  Made whole again.  We can hold hot or cold liquid and we can overflow when life is poured into us.  HE holds us together if we let the Master be the Cupbearer.

As we think this week about the cup that Jesus accepted from the Father and drank from, muse over the cup God has placed in your hands.  Your portion.  Your cup.  He is GOOD.  He gives us what suits us.  He gives us His Best.  It may have been broken in places over the years...but it is still the cup He chooses to fill and overflow.  Sometimes the liquid is hot.  Sometimes it is cold. He alone knows what that cup can handle.  Whatever your cup looks like or even feels like, the Cupbearer knows how to hold us and when we accept His cup, it will overflow to bless so many others He places in our lives.  


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