Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you” (Matthew 26:27 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I hopped on social media to check out my friends’ feeds. One social media friend was changing the world through missions in Africa. Now she was being publicly acclaimed. Another social media friend was hanging out with the very group that excluded me a couple weeks ago. They looked so happy. My old friend from high school was now building a whole basketball sports complex in her backyard. Her family, of course, looks picture-perfect. The girl I remember from my kid’s preschool smiles in bliss with her husband in Bermuda, her body is picture-perfect.
I am sitting like a blob on the couch, hair in messy bun, dirty dishes stacked high in the sink, while filthy toilets are calling my name today because they have to be cleaned. And, worst of all, I’m tired. I didn’t sleep well last night.
Ever been there? In the place where everyone else has a sparkling and shiny life, you have real life issues? In the place where others seem happy and in love, but not you? In a period where you feel ripped off?
Oh, I know what it is like to sit in a seat like this.
In many ways, I haven’t gotten what others have. I don’t complain about it or gripe, but it is noticeable. Worst of all, I keep seeing it.
So, the other day, I prayed about this very thing to God. I said something like:
“God, I’ve moved around a lot. You know it, and I know it! Father, you know I’ve always wanted a garden, but I rent. Even though I really want a garden…because I see everyone else’s beautiful flowers, I am not going to make-over a rented yard with beautiful flowers. Why would I? This lot is not my lot…”
But as soon as I said it, conviction came in my heart. It seemed to speak back: But, Kelly, this lot is your lot. Love it, a lot.
I knew what I needed to do. Rather than disliking my lot, God was calling me to love my lot. He was calling me to tend, nurture, cultivate, and plant in the very lot I thought was bad.
To love my lot, I went out to the garden store and bought a huge box of flowers. I planted them all down the front of my rented lot. I found stems that looked like hope. I added brightness to my ground. I made a choice: rather than seeing what I did not have, I beautified and relished in what I did have.
Now, in the evenings, my kids and I rejoice in what has grown. We love our lot.
I cannot help but think of how Jesus could have hated His lot. He could have also hated us because our sin killed Him. He could have shied away from the cup of wrath put upon Him, all the sins of the world on that cross. But Jesus did not hate His lot, the cup handed to Him by God, Himself. Instead, He received it and even gave thanks for it.
“Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you’” (Matthew 26:27 NIV).Jesus drank the cup of wrath so we could be released to abundant joy in Christ Jesus. And the result? Jesus made all things beautiful – giving us a place in eternity, defeating the powers of darkness, and washing us white as snow from sin.
Jesus chose to beautify everything.
What if we were to look at our lot – not with disappointment or disdain – but with hope and expectancy? What if, rather than disliking what we have, we give thanks for it and look for ways to beautify it? What if we find our lot isn’t as bad as we thought it was, to begin with?
Just maybe, our lots will turn into gardens. They may not look perfect, but we may find God’s redemptive story in them. We may acknowledge that little parts are actually good.
Father, thank You that no matter how bad it looks, You can redeem and restore. Father, help us to gain eyes to see what we do have. Help us to start thanking You for the good we do see. Help us to trust You and show us what we can do with the lot we have been given.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What do you dislike about your “lot”? How can you begin to thank God for this very issue? In what ways can you beautify or be resourceful with what you have been given?
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