The Caffeine of Life
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Your sweet fragrance, Lord, is known all over the world. You left Your divine perfume in Your wake. You delight us with countless fragrances. The scent of jasmine, of ginger lily and magnolia. The odor of freshly sawn timber. The aroma of freshly baked bread. The bouquet of a wine aged in the cool belly of an oaken barrel. The fragrance of apples filling the room. The aroma of freshly ground coffee. The odor of wood burning in the fireplace. The scent of orange blossom and eucalyptus. The perfume of spices. The redolence of flowering broom. The sweet scent of hay. The fragrance of the sea, disseminated by the breeze on the beach. The perfume of the pine trees that floods the soul with joy. Through the myriad of scents that You delight our lives with, You have left a touch of Your own presence in the world.
Caffeinated with surprises
Life comes caffeinated with surprises. Modifications. Transitions. Alterations. You move down the ladder, out of the house, over for the new guy, up through the system. All this moving. Some changes welcome, others not. And in those rare seasons when you think the world has settled down, watch out…
We might request a decaffeinated life, but we don’t get it. The disciples didn’t.
“I am going away.”1
Imagine their shock when they heard Jesus say those words. He spoke them on the night of the Passover celebration, Thursday evening in the upper room. Christ and his friends had just enjoyed a calm dinner in the midst of a chaotic week. They had reason for optimism. Jesus’ popularity was soaring. Opportunities were increasing. In three short years the crowds had lifted Christ to their shoulders … he was the hope of the common man.
The disciples were talking kingdom rhetoric, ready to rain down fire on their enemies, jockeying for positions in the cabinet of Christ. They envisioned a restoration of Israel to her days of glory. No more Roman occupation or foreign oppression. This was the parade to freedom, and Jesus was leading it.
And now this? Jesus said, “I am going away.” The announcement stunned them. When Jesus explained, “You know the way to where I am going,” Thomas, with no small dose of exasperation, replied, “No, we don’t know, Lord. We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”2
Christ handed the disciples a cup of major transition, and they tried to hand it back. Wouldn’t we do the same? Yet who succeeds? What person passes through life surprise-free? …
Change trampolines our lives, and when it does, God sends someone special to stabilize us. On the eve of his death, Jesus gave his followers this promise: “When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”3—Max Lucado
A cup of coffee
I find that the days I start with God are the best. He’s like a good cup of coffee: I breathe deeply of its aroma, savor its taste, enjoy its warmth on a cold morning, and let its goodness stir me into action for the day. It makes getting up in the morning something to look forward to, and I carry the happy memory of it throughout the day.
When I start the day off with God, I have the assurance that He is with me, He’s on my side, and He hears my prayers and will answer them. It’s a wonderful reassurance to have. Just like I love to hear my husband say: “Call me if something comes up or you need anything. I look forward to seeing you this evening. I love you.” When God promises to spend the day with me and be there to help me in whatever comes up, I know that’s what He’ll do. He’s a true gentleman, and He cannot break His word. He says: “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me,” and “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”4
When I seek Him first thing in the morning, His presence tends to linger throughout the day, bringing with it an awareness of His nearness and ability to lead and guide my thoughts and actions to be as productive as they can be. The connection has been made, and after that, it’s easier to retain the thought of Him throughout the day.
The stillness of the morning, before all the busyness of the day floods into our mind, is a perfect time to hear God whisper into the ears of our soul. He loves to hear from us through our prayers, but He also loves to communicate back. He can give us wisdom, inspiration, and ideas, as well as peace. Whether we need some practical guidance, spiritual insight, or just peace of mind to get us through the day, it’s worth taking the time to seek, hear, and know Him.—Maresha Voorn
Published on Anchor May 2018. Read by Jason Lawrence. Music by Michael Dooley.