Faith, life, relationships, Uncategorized
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Morning Coffee

“In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains.” {Psalm 63, The Message}

coffee at one of my favorite cafes

I am not attractive in the morning. I need a twenty-minute makeover — daily. My eyes are puffy and my hair flaunts a bad version of David Bowie tangled with the Flock of Seagulls’ wings. Perhaps a full night of snoring contributes to the mess. I’ve never awakened looking refreshed and dewy. Yet, in spite of my inability to be Sleeping Beauty my sweet husband brings me coffee, love in a cup, and says, “Good morning, honey! I brought your coffee!” and I feel all princessy.

My IQ is dependent on coffee. There is a direct correlation between coffee and my ability to think. In the morning brain is fuzzy, furry, stuffed with the down of sleep until I get a few gulps of the good stuff (Yirgacheffe, from Ethiopia). I’m not a coffee snob, but I do like a decent cup of coffee. And, I like it delivered to me, with more than a drizzle of half and half, by my guy.

He sets it on the inevitable stack of books tottering on my nightstand.

It waits for me. I am hungry. My stomach complains, empty from the night of fasting and my caffeine-to-blood ratios are dangerously low, so I choose to stay propped in bed for the first few sips. And I think of how, later in the day, coffee might be pick-me-up or a fun thing to sip when adulterated with frothy milk and chocolate syrup, but it’s those first few slurps off the edge of a full mug in the morning that make me love it.

Because I am on empty.

1. Are you On Empty?

How often are we empty, truly empty? For those of us in first world nations, with a Starbucks on every other corner and a Costco in every suburb, emptiness is subjective. Does our culture encourage any kind of poverty? Can someone who has everything she wants actually need anything? Can someone who’s been fed Bible verses and praise songs mean it with sincerity when she sings, “I am thirsty for more of you, precious Jesus.”?

2. Are you satisfied by what fills you?

A couple of friends that I consider mentors have separately mentioned to me “You know, I just don’t need as much anymore….” What they’re saying is that as they have taken in more and more of the good stuff, the truth of God’s word, the reality of His divine purpose for them, they’ve learned to leave behind some of the substitutes and lies this world offers. Contentment has become a natural attitude. Freedom in grace a familiar place. That line between needs and wants grows into a chasm when we’re hooked on Living Water.

King David experienced hunger and thirst while he was forced out into the Judean Wilderness. Real hunger and driving thirst. Physically painful emptiness. But David knew his calling to one day be king. He also knew his God. A God of covenants and blessings–a promise keeping God. Even when David cried out in hunger or despair, he cried out to God.

So when he sang the words we call Psalm 63, David was a mess. He was filthy with the desert dust, wearing the scent of days or weeks on his flesh. He was unappealing on many levels yet he raised the cup of hope, voice parched and hoarse, and received his fill:

“O God, you are my God, and I long for you. My whole being desires you, like a dry, worn-out, and waterless land,my soul is thirsty for you.

Let me see you in the sanctuary; let me see how mighty and glorious you are. Your constant love is better than life itself, and so I will praise you. I will give you thanks as long as I live, I will raise my hands to you in prayer.

My soul will feast and be satisfied, and I will sing glad songs to you.”

Jesus said on in his hillside sermon, “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them!” {Matthew 5:3}

Was Jesus remembering his own excruciating wilderness days and forty long nights in the wilderness when he told his followers — be empty?

3. Does poverty scare you?

It’s scary when we can’t stretch the income to fit the bills each month. It’s scary to face unemployment unprepared for the future. Poverty is real and frightening. We approach God ready to get busy, give him all we’ve got (or at least enough to appear Christian-y). Spiritual poverty rubs humanity the wrong way; does spiritual emptiness frighten us the way that material poverty can? Does this fear compel us to stockpile good works, commitments and spiritual busyness? Do we strive to provide a wide margin between ourselves and poverty of spirit? Are we ready to exchange the substitutions and reach for the really good stuff so that we may experience the fullness of God’s satisfying love? We can when  we are emptied of all the ideas and stuff of this world.

Are you feeling empty? Do your activities, the things that take your resources of money and time and energy, leave your calendar full, credit cards maxed and your spirit dissatisfied?Jesus says “Good! It’s about time! Now let’s get you filled up with the good stuff!”

The answer is in the middle of David’s prayer. God’s constant love. It’s there for the taking. Anytime. Are you hungry enough?

Linking up with Tracy here




  1. Wow, Alyssa, great post and great encouragement. My tea is for me like your coffee is for you 🙂 I’ve been feeling lately that I need to fill up on Christ more deeply and regularly. thanks for linking up again, I look forward to seeing you there again next week 🙂
    God bless

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