FINELY GROUND

I especially love flavored coffee. Carmel and hazelnut are my favorites.  I usually drink mine black, but occasionally I’ll splurge and buy a specialty drink like a mocha or a frappuccino. The other day I even tried a Moolatte at DQ.  Regardless of where I am, I simply like a Latte’ of coffee!

The one thing I don’t like in my coffee is coffee grounds, those little bitter grounds that float to the top of your cup or sink to the bottom just to surprise you as you take a drink. I may not appreciate drinking the grounds, but I realize you can’t make a good cup of coffee without them.  I know that the best coffee is made from good, strong, finely ground coffee beans. The finer the grind of coffee beans, the more concentrated the coffee and the more intense the flavor.

Are any of you going through a difficult, grinding time in your life?  Do you ever feel as if you are being finely ground and the coffee grounds of your pain are settling into a bottomless cup of sorrow? You might even cry out…

“I’m standing my ground, God, shouting for help, at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak. Why, God, do You turn a deaf ear? Why do You make Yourself scarce? For as long as I remember I’ve been hurting…”
—Psalm 88:13-15 MSG

Why doesn’t God just eliminate the hard times? Why doesn’t He just filter out the coffee grounds in our lives?In my own life, I’m beginning to see that Jesus wants to be the Cup of Joy in My Cup of Sorrow.  In the middle of experiencing what feels like a bottomless cup of sorrow, God longs to sweeten my sorrow with the treasure of Himself. He wants me to know Him. He wants me to need Him. He wants me to depend on Him like never before.

The blessing of knowing Jesus and becoming more like Him is greater than any hardship we will go through. I am amazed by the loving involvement of God in my suffering.

• God is aware of my pain –

“You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the
sleepless night, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache
written in Your book.”
—Psalm 56:8 MSG

• God responds to my pain –

“In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally
rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He
lifted them up and carried them through all the years.
—Isaiah 63:9

God identifies with what I am going through.  He is not an unfeeling observer when I suffer.  He suffers with me when I’m afflicted.  Not only does He suffer with me, but He lifts me up and carries me through the difficult times!  He will never fail me!  

Knowing Jesus is my cup of joy in the midst of sorrow.  I’ve learned that there is hope in Jesus, when it seems there is no hope in my circumstance. When I feel weak, I find that He is my strength to carry on. When people betray me, I know that God is forever faithful.

Why the coffee grounds in life? Just as the best tasting coffee comes from finely ground coffee beans, the treasure of knowing Christ often comes from the grinding of pain and suffering.