Monday, October 21, 2013

Just Pick A Cup!

It never ceases to amaze me how the Holy Spirit seeks out and uses everyday experiences to teach me lessons; profound lessons that often bring conviction and correction as well as encouragement and blessing all rolled into one neat little object lesson. 

Once such lesson came mid-2012. It was a 'normal' day; our 3 year old son was finishing his lunch and asked me for a drink of water. . . 

"Mummy, I'm very drinky." 

"Okay, I'll get you some water."

"Not that cup, mummy!"

"Why not?"

"I don't like the white cup!"

"Okay, fine; how about this cup?"

"No."

"This one?"

"No."

"This one?!"

"No."

"The green one?"

"No."

"The blue one?"

"No."

"The red one? The orange one? The one with your name on it?"

"No! No! No!"

"Well I can't give you water if you won't take a cup!"

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I froze on the spot. Tears came as the revelation overwhelmed my soul; God wanted more than anything to bless me, but I had to choose a cup! 

You see we had just, (quite literally the previous evening), decided that after 18 months at our "new" church, it was time to move on. I say "we" but it was really me.  I earnestly plead my case to my husband, "I'm miserable, I haven't connected with anyone, there are too many 'issues,' it just isn't working." He eventually conceded, and called our connect group leaders to tell them of our decision. They strongly encouraged him to reconsider, to give it some time. He agreed, but I had made up both our minds. We were leaving.

And now, not 24 hours later, here I stood, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, vulnerable and yet expectant. Through the beautiful, gentle love of the Holy Spirit, the facade of my heart was removed, and I could see the truth behind my discontent; fear. Surprisingly, not of being disconnected, but rather the opposite, of actually reaching out and letting people see the 'real' Helen. Of putting down roots and daring to say, "Yes! We will commit to this particular church - this cup - which God is offering to us." 

It came as no surprise that my husband had been feeling uneasy about the decision all day at work; what a relief for him to find my heart so changed from the night before! He immediately rang our connect group leaders and, with great humility, let them know that we would be seeing them the following morning after all. 

We've now been at this church for a little over 2-1/2 years and are slowly growing into it. I'll admit that sometimes I feel like ditching my cup, gathering up my roots and making a break for it; but then God brings His comfort and love, and I find peace. And taking a deep breath, I drink from His beautiful, bountiful river of blessing.

Oh yes, my cup truly does run over with blessings from my Lord. 

You prepare a table before me
  in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
  my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me
  all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
  forever.  Psalm 23:5-6

15 comments:

  1. A beautiful post. Thank you!

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  2. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing that Helen. We've been in the situation a few times of having to decide whether the time is right to leave a church. A couple of time I felt God was definitely leading us, but there was one time when we probably "jumped ship" without opening up to others. God can fill us wherever we are but you're so right. We have to be willing to hold out our cup. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings

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    1. Thanks for the comments, Nola, and for adding to this thread.

      Blessings, Helen

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  3. I love how amazing revelation like that can come through the simple acts of our children. Thanks for sharing, Helen. :)

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    1. Hi Amanda, you are most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to leave some encouraging words.

      Blessings, Helen

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  4. Hi Helen,
    What a powerful lesson. There are so many things it can relate to, and so many times we don't just choose a cup.

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  5. Hi Paula,

    Yes, it really was a powerful lesson, I still get goosebumps when I think of and/or recall it to others. I'm a very visual person, so this is generally how God gets my attention; through the words and actions of others. It can be a little scary, but generally it's very exciting!

    Thanks for leaving your comments,

    Blessings, Helen.

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  6. Oh Helen. That was a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. Isn't it amazing how God works? And he used your 3 year old to speak into your heart. How awesome is that? I totally get where you are at regarding church. It takes years sometimes to have a sense of belonging but do hang in there. I was very very lonely at my church for about 5 or 6 years Helen. And was so tempted to leave. But each time I wanted to God told me 'This is where I want you.' And so I stayed. I've been there 15 years now Helen. And oh - how God has blessed me and grown me through them. Just last Sunday I came back filled with thanks and praise for all the God connections I enjoyed that morning apart from the worship and message which blessed me. So glad you have listened to Him. Well done for having the courage to do so. May He fill your cup and bring you much blessing through your church and use you as a blessing to others.

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    1. Thank you Anusha, We have definitely been blessed as we have been obedient to God's direction. I love that he cares enough about us to teach us and direct us; I'm excited to see the fruit that grows as we put down our roots deeper and deeper and really start to connect with the people that make our church what it is.

      Bless you, Anusha, Helen

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  7. I had never thought of it that way, Helen.I can get so caught up with needing my cup to be filled instead of making sure it was the right cup! We both had a similar experience in our church. It does take time and a lot of effort on out part...especially breaking the so-called generation gap and speaking to young people. They are usually too shy to speak first to an older person. And I've enjoyed that.

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  8. Love how God uses children to teach us. Thanks for sharing, Helen. Praying that your church will become a real home to you.

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  9. Thank Helen for your post - children are great teachers, especially about the Father-heart of God.

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  10. Great post Helen. I am a firm believer of letting God lead you into everything, and letting Him lead you from everything. Church hopping is all too common. There is no perfect church, perfect pastor, or perfect leadership - churches are full of imperfect people.

    God plants us in places to grow us - we will be tested - and it isn't all rosy. I have questioned things myself asking God "what on earth is going on here!?" But over time seen Him move in those things. The heart of God is unity in the church not division and if we discern anything off, we are to pray and let Him make the change within it. If we complain or depart there will be no change - the devil wins. Prayer is the answer.

    Sorry about the pointed response. I feel God has spoken to my heart very clearly on this topic. I am so glad you listened and in obedience and humility responded to His will in your situation.

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  11. I know the feeling. I sometimes say something to my kids and then get this chill as I listen to my own words and realise that God wants me to take my own advice.

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