Sustaining Power

Day 31 of Lent, Psalm 37:

I don’t know how I survived, but there were no cool coffee shops in the late 80’s in my college town, that I remember. No lattes. No caramel macchiato. No dark roast coffee.  I didn’t even know of such things; and I didn’t know at that point, how much I needed coffee and how much I would benefit from coffee shops. Ok, I did drink the good ol’ Folgers at my sorority house when I needed to stay up to study. My friend Lora and I would make it a little more tolerable by adding a packet of hot chocolate to it — making our own mocha java.

Now, coffee is a regular part of my day, and … well, afternoon. Coffee, not only wakes me up, but it is something I look forward to. I love it with sweets or with a good book. It gives me sustaining power. I love coffee shops, talking in coffee shops and receiving gift cards to Starbucks from my family. My thought is, “You can never have enough coffee gift cards!”

When I don’t have my regular dose of coffee, I hate to say it, but I pay with a headache. Ok, so I depend on it. There are times I have given it up, but normally,  (everyday) I feel the need for it to sustain me.  I am grateful for a good cup of Joe.

A little more important than my cup of coffee

When  David says in Psalm 37 that “The Lord sustains,” I get it. I understand the word “sustain” and the things in my life that feel like help sustain me– some more necessary than others. Many things give us sustaining power. Food and water are necessary for the sustenance we need. Without it, we will eventually perish. It is a little more important than my coffee.

But do I realize every day how God sustains things? Like in Psalm 37 it says:

When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

He keeps me steady. But not only me, but much bigger things.

And in Him all things hold together.

 All things, He maintains all things.  He is like super glue. He Is Creator and Sustainer. It is easy to go through life and forget about this. Now, I don’t really forget it, just like I wouldn’t forget my cup of coffee in the morning.  However, like my coffee headaches, I will begin to feel it when I forget about Him and His sustaining power.

  •  Eventually I begin to take credit for things.
  • I forget to consult and ask God first for help.
  • I fret  about how things are going to work out. I have to control things, as if it depends on me.
  • I become callous or worrisome towards the world problems, as if God is not in control.

 Sustaining grace

The funny thing is, even when I forget to give God credit for His sustaining work, I still enjoy the benefit of His sustaining power. The seasons keep changing. The food is on the table, and I am still alive and breathing.  All I experience, is because He holds all things together. This is grace– a gift. His sustaining power is a gift to me.

Coffee outside on a beautiful day, like today, is a gift.

I have family who are not followers of Christ. They casually believe in a “higher power” and do see Jesus as a good person, but they do not see Jesus as Lord. I wonder if they are like me at times: do they realize how much they benefit from God’s sustaining work?  Do they realize that they benefit from God’s grace and mercy in the people and world around them each day? Do they see God has held the family together? Do they understand that God’s love and forgiveness has changed aspects or persons in the family? God sustains whether we acknowledge it or not.

And God keeps sustaining, even when I forget and do not give Him credit. It is so easy to forget.  He sustains and keeps all things and I benefit from this grace everyday. Now, when I drink a cup of coffee, I hope I am reminded of God’s sustaining work all around me.  But also, if I remember it and enjoy it, I get to bless others with it as well.

God sustains. Remember and pass it on.

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