Recently, my sweet mission friends brought me back a bag of Haitian coffee. Fresh, finely ground, straight off the farm, Haitian coffee. It’s not like any coffee I’ve ever seen, touched, tasted, or brewed. It’s a strong, frothy coffee and the texture is almost like baby powder. Or, shall I say it? Dirt.
So, delicious as it has been, you can imagine the mess it makes when you go to brew a pot.
Yesterday afternoon, I was zipping through the apartment, cleaning up the little messes that pop up over the week. Washing up the dishes, putting on a load of laundry, etc. when I spotted the coffee maker.
While I had spent the week hastily wiping up the dusty coffee mess, the coffee maker needed a little more attention. So I wiped down the outside, I sat the carafe and the filter basket in the sink to wash, and then….
I looked down in the water reservoir and was horrified to see coffee grounds.
Brown, misplaced, coffee remnants in my WATER reservoir.
“No, no, no.” I thought, “That can’t be right.”
There’s COFFEE, in the place where I put CLEAN water each morning.
It doesn’t go there.
How did that happen?
How long has it been there?
Frustrated, and a little disgusted, I started the process of cleaning my precious coffee maker… and I realized, that coffee pot is my soul.
My coffee maker’s purpose is to take coffee grounds and turn them into a cup of coffee. The coffee goes into a filter, water into the reservoir, and together it becomes something new. Something yummy and enjoyable comes from what at first appeared to be a pile of beans. Without the coffee maker, the grounds are useless… (To a coffee drinker, at least.)
I know you’re wondering by now where I could possibly be going with this, so bear with me.
Our souls are the water reservoir.
Our lives are the water.
The world is the coffee.
And Jesus is the filter.
Every morning we wake up, with a choice. We can take on the world alone and just deal with some seemingly useless, bitter, dirt-like coffee grounds.
Or, we can take on the world with Jesus who can filter out the useless, and the bitter, and the dirty parts, and together we can make a pot of coffee.
But, dear friend…
Just as the coffee grounds will get in your water reservoir, the world will get in your soul.
As Christians, we’re sent out into the world to spread the love of Jesus.
You’ve heard it before, we’re to be in the world, but not of the world.
And as Christians, we know that’s much easier said than done.
Because though we serve an amazing God, we’re still human.
Our hearts still break.
People still leave.
Sickness still happens.
Jobs are still lost.
At every corner you turn, there’s chaos.
And with every scroll down your Facebook feed, there’s someone experiencing the desires of your heart… Someone got the blessing you‘ve been waiting for and they’ve documented it for the world to see. Painful, concrete proof that you’re still coming up short.
Another day and our prayers still go unanswered.
And more often that not, in our moment of why… the world will creep in.
With why often comes, I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy. I will never measure up. I did something to deserve this. If I did this, then that wouldn’t have happened. If I was more like her, I wouldn’t still be alone. If I had paid better attention, I could’ve caught it in time. If I was a better wife, maybe God would give me the baby. If I had worked harder, I would’ve gotten the promotion. If I was prettier, skinnier, wealthier, more out going, more creative, more desirable, more deserving, easier to love….
We’ve all been there. And honestly, we all go there every. single. day.
And our society doesn’t help. We’ve become a group of people who rely on instant gratification.
We want the free two-day Prime shipping option in our prayers…
We want blessings to come as quickly as Facebook likes.
We want a DIY guide to a better life.
We want a pot of coffee in Keurig time.
Which is why we have clean our coffee maker regularly.
Which is why we have to seek Jesus regularly.
The world tells us what we should be doing now, when God’s plan says not yet.
With that kind of burden to carry, it’s not enough just to run our lives through His filter.
We have to actively seek him.
No, I don’t want to clean my coffee maker every day… but I don’t always want to read my Bible, either. Or pray. Or extend grace to others. Or look for a blessing in the not-so-good moments.
Most days, it’s much easier to stew in angry thoughts. It’s much easier to pick out your own flaws or to place blame on others, because then at least, we have an answer to the why… Even if it’s wrong, it feels like we have something to hang our problems on.
And it’s much harder to accept that someone else received your blessing, because God has other plans for you. Or it’s just not your time yet.
Some days, you won’t brew a good pot of coffee.
Some days, it will be more like a sad bowl of dirty, bean water.
Some days, you may spill your pot of coffee on your white linen pants.
Life is hard. And it hurts.
But you know what else? When the mess starts creeping in and the enemy puts those
thoughts of doubt and worthlessness in our hearts, there’s no better battle plan than putting on the armor of God and standing on His promises.
I’ve learned the hard way that moments of weakness are where we do our most growing… or I guess you could say, brewing.
We may never understand why we’ve been given those bad cups of coffee, but we must understand that we are loved regardless… dirty water reservoirs and all.
So sweet friend, go check out your coffee maker… Figuratively and literally, because you deserve a good cup of coffee.