Monday, May 20, 2013

The Upturned Cup

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 grand concept this is. God has assigned us our cup. We can choose to turn it upside down and be dark and morose and finally useless, or we can choose to turn it right side up and fill it to overflowing with His blessings and then share these serendipities with others.

Sometimes we are asked to drink a cup of sorrow. Rather than inverting or controverting what can be a spiritual lesson for us, we can convert our cup of sorrow into a dessert of comfort instead of a desert of corrosive grief. God then blesses the upturned cup for ourselves and others. "When [we] walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains!" (Psalm 84:6 TLB.) "The pilgrim band, rich in hope, forget the trials and difficulties of the way. Hope changes the rugged and stony waste into living fountains. The vale blossoms as if the sweet rain of heaven had covered it with blessings. Hope sustains them at every step. From station to station they renew their strength as they draw nearer the end of their journey, till at last they appear before God." (Perowne.)

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