My Keurig coffee maker stopped working this weekend. For this coffee lover (translation: addict) this was a dreadful turn of events. Time on the phone with the Keurig folks revealed the problem. Water wasn’t getting pulled from the reservoir because the channel was clogged. The machine turned on and hummed and whirled but at the end, nothing. Nada. Not one drip of lovely coffee poured into my cup. The solution apparently is de-scaling: running a vinegar solution through to get rid of the hard-water yuk that had built up.
Now here is where it got personal. ‘You’re clogged’, God whispered. ‘Just like your coffee maker, you are clogged with some yuk.’
Sure, I had been making all the right noises and going through the motions of being a Jesus girl, trusting God and living my faith, but there was a coating of discontentment that had settled on my heart. And maybe even the tiniest root of bitterness. Ouch.
This clogging business doesn’t happen overnight. Not in my coffee maker. And not in me. Clogs slowly build up over time.
Those questioning whispers of ~ ‘why this?’, and ‘what about me?’ and ‘what if?’ Clog.
That undercurrent of resentment toward someone else’s ‘normal’? Clog
Simmering impatience with…oh just about everyone? Clog.
Worrying out loud and calling it prayer? Choosing pouting over praise? Clog. Clog. Ugly clog.
My pastor hit the nail on the head during his sermon yesterday. (Don’t you love it when God is dealing with you on something and makes sure you get it by repetition ?)
Here, Paul is writing to the churches in Corinthians about some churches in Macedonia: 2 Corinthians 8:2 ‘Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. ‘
These folks in Macedonia were not living a perfect easy life. They were going through some stuff. For Paul to call it a severe trial, it has to have been something notable. Yet, they were able to overflow with joy and generosity to others in spite of what they were personally experiencing.
How was this possible? Just go up a verse. Verse 1 - “…we want you to know about the grace God has given the Macedonian churches. ‘ They were only able to overflow because of God’s grace which flowed through them. Wow.
I have not been feeling very grace-full lately. You can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t pour out, what isn’t flowing through you. It is not about how perfect our life is (or isn’t). Stuff is going to happen in life. Hard stuff. Ugly stuff. Stuff we would much rather didn’t’ . Severe trial sounds about right. But even so, we can still overflow with joy. Because of His grace.
Lord, today give us a vinegar rinse to clean out all of the clogs of comparison and discontentment and worry and resentment. And then, Lord, bring on the grace Let it flow, let it flow. As we get our minds off of us and our ‘stuff’ and onto you, may we raise our tear-stained faces and empty coffee cups to the sky and be simply drenched in Your grace. Grace that spills out in overflowing joy on everyone we meet.
Isaiah 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.