I Samuel

And the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied.  “You have done all this evil yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.  Do not turn away after useless idols.  They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.  For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject the people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.  As for me, far be it from me t hat I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.  And I will teach you the way that is good and right.  But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.  Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

I found this interesting this morning and it reminded me of how discouraged we can become.  It seems as though when we make bad choices in our lives against whatever it is God has convicted us of – whether it is to speak gracefully, act gracefully, do this one thing, or not do this other thing, that when we fail we feel as though, “Why bother?  Why bother trying?  I’ll go and do this other thing so I am distracted from not being this person I SHOULD be.”  We, as a people, as women, as mamas, as sisters, become a very discouraged people.  Christ has called us to this task, to do (or not do) these things and yet it seems as though we fail daily.   Yesterday a dear, dear, sweet friend quoted this quote from Amy Carmichael on her Facebook page:

“A cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.” ~ Amy Carmichael

Oh would that I were so full of Christ, no matter how I was jolted that I wouldn’t spill out anything bitter.  I wish that were true.  I wish that when I was jolted by a bickering five year old, or a (fill in the blank) that I could still only spill  sweetness.

I thought about this much today and thought about how does one go about filling oneself so full of sweetness?  Well,  I suppose that that is a matter of what you put in your cup.   I can’t put both coffee and creamer in my cup and only have coffee.  That’s just silly.   I must continuously fill my cup with whatever it is I want to be filled with… Lest my drink be contaminated.    The picture becomes clearer, doesn’t it?

My friend Amy from Overweights of Joy posted this quote:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. ~Jim Elliot

To give up the world, bitterness, anger, frustration… To choose to continually fill our cup with Christ, with sweetness, joy, gratefulness, thankfulness…  This is the ONLY way we’ll ever spill goodness when jolted.

It is easy enough when we are experiencing the soft, easy, gentle things in life to spill sweetness upon those around us.   But, when confronted with something difficult, ugly, traumatic, saddening, angering, do we still spill sweetness?  We must fill ourselves with Christ to spill Christ.

Moreover, as Samuel assured these people, we can’t let discouragement over past failures turn us from serving the one true God.   We mustn’t distract ourselves by serving idols as they are useless.

And so, fear the Lord, consider what He has done for you, serve Him faithfully, and far be it for you to not pray for your brothers & sisters. Be encouraged, go fill yourselves this morning.