The other night, I could not fall asleep. I laid in bed and was completely unable to turn my brain off. It raced and raced and raced and…well you get the point. My thoughts bounced to my family back home, what I want my future home to look like, the times my Granny would stack the deck playing Solitaire, to praying for my husband and children and grandchildren. I thought of what life in the Middle East will look like, what all my friends will look like when they grow old, and new kinds of food and dinner parties and creating spaces for comfort and hope and restoration. I decided around 4:30 a.m. that if I was awake at 5:30, then I would get up for the day. Thankfully, I fell asleep at 5.
A few hours later I woke up and made a decision. A life-altering decision, for that matter. Before my feet hit the floor, I decided that I would not let the lack of sleep affect my day, my attitude, my emotions. My friendships would not be altered, my thoughts would be steadfast, and my spirit would be full. The joy of the Lord is my strength, I sung to myself as I shuffled across the room and opened the door.
I went into the kitchen and poured some coffee. Normally, I just put sugar in my coffee, but this was a different day. A little dash of sugar and a little dash of cinnamon. A tiny splash of milk to top it off. But it wasn’t finished. Although I do not like my coffee too sweet, I looked around the kitchen for that missing piece. Next thing I knew, I was pouring sprinkles in my coffee.
Excuse me, what?? That’s probably one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard or done myself. They don’t even float. They sunk straight to the bottom of the mug and mixed in with all the other yumminess that was in there. I couldn’t even see the reds and yellows and blues that went in. But as soon as I took a sip, I knew it was what I needed. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I felt so alive, so awake, so sensitive to the goodness of life.
I was beyond ready to sleep by the time I crawled into bed for the night, but my body would not shut down. I had far surpassed being tired and had quickly become delirious. After a few hours, I reluctantly went into the kitchen as a friend followed and shut the door. The house was still, save for a few people talking in the living room. With exhausted tears welling in my eyes, I boiled some hot water and poured a cup of tea. I sat with my head in my arms as my friend silently scratched my back and the tea steeped. Once the tea had cooled enough for me to drink, it happened. That first sip broke the dam and tears flooded my face. The peace of God surpasses my understanding.
There’s something about drinks that reveal a tangibility of the Triune God. When God established the various offerings in the Old Testament, He instated the drink offering, which was typically given with another offering, and symbolized restoration, devotion, and sacrifice. Jesus used wine as the outcome of His first miracle, as well as a representation of His poured out blood in the Upper Room. The believer is filled with Holy Spirit, and out of him flows rivers of living water, getting everyone around him soaked with the Spirit. Sprinkles in my coffee fills me with the joy that indwells me, and hot tea at night embraces my soul with the peace of a warm hug.
At the table of God, there’s always enough to drink, whether water or wine or juice or coffee, love or patience or gentleness or joy. The woman at the well in John 4 knew that the well is deep. Do you?