Lessons from a Mostly Empty Coffee Can

This was originally a post on Facebook I wrote in November of last year. It was such an important lesson for me that I wanted to share it here.

November 21, 2019

Yesterday was a good day. It didn’t really start out that way, but God is so good it couldn’t end any other way. Let me explain.

If you know me, you know about coffee. I hesitate to call it an addiction because I would never want to even suggest the minimization of a struggle that is so real to so many, but it’s close. I love coffee. I am not a snob when it comes to my coffee. I don’t need Starbucks or even Dunkin. I don’t need Arabian or Costa Rican or gourmet beans. It can be plain old Wal-Mart brand. As long as there’s caffeine in it, I’m cool with it. I can face a lot of issues if I have a cup, even just one cup (although I prefer several) every day. That said, yesterday I was faced with one of my worst nightmares … An almost empty can of Maxwell House and no funds to replenish the dwindling supply.

As I stood over the can, I admit it, I cried a little (ok, a lot). I left everything to follow God’s calling across the planet. I gave away or sold almost everything I owned. I left my family, my friends, my precious grandsons to come to Nigeria where we have power only about 40% of the time, have little to no running water, no television, no movies, no CHEESE! and now I don’t even have COFFEE! It just didn’t seem fair and I tearfully told God so! He promised that He would supply ALL of my needs according to His riches! (Phil 4:19) Didn’t he understand that I NEED coffee? I mean, since our arrival, we have not ever been hungry, or thirsty, or without shelter. Our needs have been met 100%. But this is COFFEE! I know I don’t need it, Lord, but I NEED IT! I was in a full on spoiled brat pout!

I am so glad that we serve a gracious God, a patient God, a faithful God. He let me cry. He sat with me and He listened and He loved me through my tantrum. And then I remembered. My heavenly Father loved me so much that He gave up His precious and beloved Son so that I could walk with Him, talk with Him, so that He COULD sit with me and listen to me. He gave His Jesus so that He could be MY Jesus and I was whining about coffee. The conviction in that moment was greater than the longing for coffee. Greater than the longing for electricity, or a hot shower. In that moment, I surrendered my everything, again, including coffee. I made a very weak pot and drank a half a cup of coffee with my Jesus (ok, my cup is HUGE but it was still only half full).

A few hours later, as we were having dinner, a local lady who has become quite special to us, came to see how our meal was. I was not even surprised to see that she had a pound of coffee with her.

God is so good to us. He is such a patient, gentle Father. He WILL supply all my needs and even some of my wants. I am so thankful that He still wants to teach me, to show me how to be more like Him, and to use me in this beautiful place.

Yesterday was a good day. I can’t wait to see what He’s going to do today! 💗

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