Thursday, February 16, 2012

God's Assignments

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup..." (Psalm 16:5).

In his book, The God Who Would Be Man, H.M.S. Richards tells of the visit of a chaplain-general of the forces, Bishop Taylor Smith, to a military hospital during World War I. He noticed two wounded men sitting by a table on which was a bowl turned upside down. He asked the men, "Do you know the two things that are under that bowl?" "No," one of the men said. "Darkness and uselessness," the chaplain replied. Quickly he turned the bowl right side up. "Now," he said to the two curious men, "it's full of light, and ready to hold porridge, soup, or anything you might like to use it for. It's a converted bowl."

What a splendid idea this is for our grieving times. God has assigned, appointed, authorized, permitted us our cup. Somehow this makes it easier to accept if we know that our cup is from Him. We can turn the cup upside down and let our life turn dark and morose and finally useless, or we can turn it over and convert our sorrow into a golden chalice and fill it to overflowing with His blessings and then share these serendipities with others.

"Wherefore doth the Lord make your cup run over, but that other men's lips might taste the liquor? The showers that fall upon the highest mountains, should glide into the lowest valleys" (William Secker).

In spite of what has been removed from our life, "[Our] cup overflows" (Psalm 23:5c). It helps if we can say and feel this every morning as we kneel to ask God for His blessings for our day, "Yes, Father, my cup indeed overflows." Even in the midst of what has been taken, our cup still spills over with goodnesses: the awesome beauty of the sunrise, the promises in His Word which are forever there and cannot be broken, our families and friends who we love and who love us, enough to eat, clothes, a bed, a tooth­brush, hot water, eyes to see, ears to hear, homes, birds, trees, a job that we enjoy if we are that fortunate and, in the evening, the sunset and evening star. The list is literally endless.

A beautiful story is told about the visitor at a school for the deaf and dumb. He was writing questions on the blackboard for the children, and he wrote: "Why has God made me to hear and speak, and made you deaf and dumb?" The little ones were stunned by that terrible "Why?" Finally one little girl rose and, with tears streaming down her face, wrote on the board with firm lines, "Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight!" Every time I read this little story I weep, for it takes extraordinary faith to be able to say "Even so, Father!"

Precious Father, help us to take Your stylus and etch on our hearts, "Even so, Father!"

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