An Unexpected Gift
Just before Justin’s accident in 2005 I received an belated birthday gift from my cousin. Sherry is my older cousin by 10 years. She spent her teenage years babysitting us and taking care of us. As the years have passed, she and I have grown close. We lived in the same town, and she is “Cousin-Aunt Sherry” to my kids. She and her husband are a large part of the reason why we ended up at Gateway Church.
She was not only my cousin during this season of my life, but also my hair stylist, confidante, friend, and mentor. I would visit her once every few weeks to get a color and hair cut update. It was on just one of these occasions in the summer of 2005 that she presented my gift to me. A beautiful teacup atop a saucer wrapped in cellophane and tied with a golden cord.
She said, “I have something for you. It’s really for your birthday, but I had not heard from God until just the other day what to give you. You may actually know what it means, but anyway … Here you go.”
She handed me the bag. The teacup left me with a puzzled look on my face.
She said, “I heard this song at church the other day called ‘I’m Drinking From My Saucer’. Do you know it?”
I had never heard the slow, sweet country/gospel song before the teacup. She went on to explain that when she saw the cup she knew it was for me because God wanted me to always sip from my saucer rather than drink from the cup. I remember how new that sounded to me at the time. She said, “If you always remember to sip from the saucer then you will never drink your cup dry.”
From our conversation I began to understand she was talking about living my life out of the overflow of God’s grace in my life. She painted a picture for me of how our cup is like our heart or spirit – the place the Holy Spirit comes and fills inside of us. Without the Spirit in my cup, I’m operating out of my own strength, my own desires, my own passions and my own capabilities. It sent me headlong into God’s Word seeking to understand what this word – OVERFLOW – meant from God’s perspective. I wanted to always sip from my saucer.
An Unexpected Discovery
As I began to search out the meaning of this word I sat for hours in my recliner while my husband was at work and my children in school. I savored Scripture and read the margin notes. I learned how to do a chain reference study and in the process began to learn what God’s voice sounded like when He was speaking to me. On those long days I would cart out my commentaries, dictionaries and my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. I would search, scribble, pray and contemplate. God would simply sit beside me and say – “Look there. Oh, and did you see that?”
Can I also just say a word about that Exhaustive Concordance? It is where I cut my teeth working out the issues of my life in God’s Word. But, to any other word study junkies out there I’m wondering if I can get a witness as I honestly confess my belief regarding that Strong’s book being EXHAUSTIVE because it just about wears me out taking it off the shelf. Seriously, when the babies come over for a visit I pull it out as a booster seat. I’ve digressed.
Back to the unexpected discovery. As I read Scripture after Scripture and looked up the meanings of the words abundance and overflow in the Hebrew and Greek I discovered that one word was floating around common between the two languages: SUPER ABUNDANCE.
Would it be to base for me to admit at this point that my idea of abundance at that stage in my life was all about material possession and finances?
I remember sitting in the warm glow of afternoon sun streaming through the sheer curtains covering our living room windows and speaking out loud. “Father God, You are going to have to show me what that looks like because I have no file for that. No file at all. I cannot even imagine a place of abundance much less a place where super abundance might exist.”
A Life Defining Response
My heart heard the words as clearly as if Jesus, Himself, had stepped into my living room and addressed my question live and in person. “SUPER ABUNDANCE is not about how much you have, but instead it is about living in the place where everything I provide for you is enough.”
I became resolute that day. I confessed to God, “I want to live in that place.”
Fast forward to 2008 when I began to mark out the pages of Scripture searching out the Hebrew Names used to identify YHWH. I was studying the story of Abraham and Isaac at Mt. Moriah when God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and at the last minute spared the child by providing a lamb. That day Abraham identified God as Jehovah Jireh. A name commonly translated “the Lord will provide.” This particular day of study I pulled out a “backwards” copy of the Torah with rabbinical commentary. In the notations I found this statement. “For the Jew the phrase, ‘On the mountain of the L–d it will be provided’ means not only that G-d will make provision, but instead that He, Himself, is the provision that sustains their every need.”
This so resonated with what God had taught me three years earlier on the fringe of the most tragic and difficult season of my entire life. During those months following the discovery of SUPER ABUNDANCE I found myself devastated and unable to pick up my Bible to read anything new. But, faithful as He is, God became my provision. He would bring to my mind promises, Scriptures and truths that I had stored away in my heart along the way. He showed me where the blessings that defy loss and tragedy hide and how to worship in spite of my pain. He taught me how to love unabated by my circumstances simply because He is and I am His. And for me, on any given day of the week, that is enough.
What are these words stirring in you this evening? Does the Lord have something He wants to show you about that Full Life He has promised you that you may have never considered before? Let me hear what He is saying to you at this moment.