Do you like tea? If you are from the South, one immediately assumes you mean syrupy sweet ICED tea served with a pitcher that is left on the table for frequent refills. If you are from the North, one immediately assumes you mean HOT tea served delicately with a tea bag on the side for you to brew at the table. And, do NOT ask for sweetener; ask for honey. This may be a somewhat exaggerated example but I know there are varied opinions about drinking tea.
Southerners know that Bojangles and McDonalds have the best, sweetest, iced cold tea. Northerners know that Starbucks serves a variety of teas, hot and cold with various options. Personally, I enjoy a “half-cut” tea with a meal. If you are a true tea drinker, you will know what this means.
During a meal, I enjoy many glasses of the beverage and rarely eat a meal without multiple refills. There are different opinions regarding drinking beverages during a meal. In a Chinese restaurant, you are many times served a hot tea beverage. This practice is believed to assist with digestion. Some nutritionists will tell you water, either iced or room temperature, is the best beverage during mealtime. The belief is that this aids in digestion and gives a full feeling causing the diner to eat less, and possibly leads to weight loss. While other nutritionists believe consuming liquids during a meal water down the important digestive juices needed to breakdown foods and avoid heartburn. WHO KNOWS what is right?
There are many references in the Bible regarding “drinking from the cup”. The cup is often used as a metaphor denoting joy and sorrow; blessing and affliction. Jesus even asked the disciples in Matthew 20:22, “Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of…”. Jesus anticipates what is coming, his suffering and his sorrow on the journey to the cross and then ultimately his death on the cross. Some of the disciples immediately answered yes, but none could anticipate what was to come. Even Jesus was not sure what his “cup” might hold on his journey to the cross.
Do we ask Jesus often to “fill our cup”? Do we “lift our cup up” to be filled with joy and blessings? Or, do we live our lives the same without ever emptying our cup of the guilt, sadness, blame and dread? All we have to do is ask for our cup to be filled with the opposite feelings of peace, happiness, confidence and hope.
As we continue in this pandemic, it seems we are gripping our “cup” tighter and holding on literally for dear life. Maybe we should pour out our cup and rid our cups of fear, sorrow, dread and sadness. Find ways to refill your cup, to be filled with the Joy and Hope of Jesus. It is there. Ask for your cup to be filled. In asking, be willing to hold that cup up high; pour out the “sour liquid”; add back the sweetness of life given by Jesus and I am not talking about tea! We all need our Faith now more than ever.
We are Blessed. Beth Jenkins