My morning meditations began at the gym today. They often do. I listen to contemporary Christian music or worship music to feed my spirit and focus my thinking while strengthening my physical body. This topic (of what music Christians “should” listen to) is my passion and this week was a very good “case” for my passion. I have nothing against “secular” music or instrumental or classical music, etc., (I have lots of it on my MP3 for study times, etc., but it’s not what I listen to even remotely the majority of my listening time.) My days are short, my battles are many, my goals are high, and my flesh is so weak. I need music with lyrics that will help me to keep my focus on the LORD and remind me of His truth and will help me preach to myself.
This morning a song played with the line “
And oh there's something 'bout the way
Your sun shines on my face
It's a love so true I can never get enough of You
No matter what's coming at me, you'll always be the beautiful I sing about
I had a hard time singing His praises and finding Him beautiful this week. Life was hard and I found myself confessing that I “could not” thank Him for my present circumstances. I was not pleased with the “fruit of my labor”. I thought I deserved better. It wasn’t fair. As I heard myself audibly voice my complaints as I drove in the car alone, and the tears flowed, I knew I was in a very difficult place and needed to get out. But I seriously felt powerless to change how I was feeling about things. I reminded myself that He is good and all that He does is good and carried out in faithfulness. But I certainly wasn’t “feeling the love”. I knew He called me to trust Him and lay down my life . . . all that I held “dear” and all that my heart longed for. Ouch. That one was VERY hard. The pain was very deep at that point. (I’m very thankful for a husband and good friends who are there to pray for me when I can’t “get myself out” of the pit).
I was at the gym Tuesday morning. Life was fine. By Wednesday morning, as I was pushing myself through my workout, my heart was breaking and at the same time I was angry. By this morning, Friday, life was “back to normal”. And isn’t that how it goes? Our lives are a series of ebbs and flows of circumstances and emotions. What caused my spiral-downward this week? I don’t know. It most likely was a combination of physical fatigue and hormones. It was a test of my faith. It was an assessment of whether my thinking was grounded in Scripture. It was the fruit of my worldview. Take your pick. It could have been any or all of them. But it doesn’t really matter why I spiraled necessarily. They important thing is how did I respond and how did I fight?
Another song this morning mentioned the line
“my cup runneth over”
That is right from Scripture and we’re all familiar with it. Psalm 23 says, “My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life . . . “
That is a statement of truth. The Holy Spirit questioned me this morning right then and there while on the treadmill, “Do you really believe your cup overflows? Was it overflowing Wednesday when you were questioning My dealing with you?” How I answer that question is vital to my Christian life and my day to day walk. What does it mean to say “my cup overflows”? Does it mean feeling blessed and happy all the time because of how great life is going? Does my cup stop overflowing when the paycheck doesn’t cover all the monthly expenses or the grade on the math test was below satisfactory and you gave it your best, or your shift at work can’t get covered and you are going to miss an important event or your spouse lets you down in a major way or . . . ________________________________ (you fill in the blank)?
I know the answer in my heart of hearts. I knew on Wednesday that He is good and all He does is good and is done in faithfulness. But it was really really hard to see my cup as overflowing. Though I know the answer is that it is ALWAYS overflowing (the Bible says it is), I need to continue to wrestle through being able to articulate it, even though the storm has passed. Because I will be there again, I’m confident. And I need to pass this on to my children. Because they will be there, I’m confident. And I want to be able to encourage my friend who calls “in the night” and needs to know her cup overflows, even in the darkest of days. I need to really know.
Yes, my cup does indeed runneth over. (Now, Lord, please help me to explain it to myself in the context of this life You have carefully planned for me.)