"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
It's been a remarkable couple of weeks. It started right after Valentine's Day. Though I was not exactly the jolliest soul on the planet that week, I had been learning a lot about trials and what it means to trust God. By learning a lot, of course, I mean I was thinking a lot about it with very little measurable progress. I don't remember what put the idea in my head, but I decided to read through Ephesians 6 one night. It's a passage that is so familiar to me that I have trouble concentrating when I read it. It's old hat. I had it memorized when I was twelve. When I reached the end, however, something changed.
"...and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."...which IS the Word of God... I stared at those words for a few seconds, and I asked myself, "How long has that been there?" How could I have forgotten about that little phrase? Those of us who find our armor awkward and difficult to strap on every day want to be told how. I'm picturing myself trying to get into one of those bulky metal suits that guard the halls of creepy mansions (I want one, by the way), and I don't think I could get it on. If I did, I'm not sure I could stand up straight.... Paul might not tell us in Ephesians 6 exactly how all the armor works, but he does tell us exactly how to pick up and sharpen our swords. He doesn't just expect us to magically know how to wield them. He does expect us to open our Bibles on a regular basis.
So that's what started it. I can't get away from it now. It's everywhere. Every sermon I hear, every passage I read on my own, every page I turn in my devotional book - reminds me of the incredible weapon that I put down so often. I could go into detail, but then this would turn into much more of a sermon than it already is, and I would never get to the thing I most wanted to write about.
Like I said, it was a great week. I was learning things. My family was very good to me, and I spent some quality time with friends. People at church have reached out to make me feel welcome. Things at the newspaper finally seemed to be moving forward. And then on Tuesday, I came home in the middle of the day to check my e-mail. Before I'd even reached the front door, I saw an envelope sticking out from under my doormat. I picked it up. Written on the front of the envelope was, "Brie, God has heard you". I came inside, put my bags down, poured myself a glass of water, and sat down before I felt prepared to open the envelope. As the little presidents on the bills showed their faces, revealing just how much cash was in there, I felt myself tearing up. Ashamed, I started replaying in my mind every complaint I'd voiced over the last couple of months. I know guilt probably is not the response the giver would want to see.
It's going to drive me crazy not knowing who gave me that money. I don't even know whether it was one person or a whole group. I wish I had someone to thank... and hug. A big part of me also wants someone to repay someday, which is maybe one of the reasons the gift was anonymous. Whoever it is probably knows that I'd try to turn it into a loan. I stared at the handwriting for a long time, and it's very familiar, but I can't quite place it. Actually, it looks a lot like my own handwriting... I have my suspects, of course, but no way to confirm my suspicions. Whoever it is obviously doesn't want to be found out, so I've made a commitment to stop looking for clues. Instead, I thank God every day for that person. I'm overwhelmingly fond of whoever it is. It's strange, feeling affection and loyalty toward someone you can't even identify. A weight has lifted off of me. I've started taking my supplements again. I also have a heightened appreciation for a lot of everyday things that I'd pushed back into the "luxury" category. I have never been so excited about coconut milk creamer, makeup remover or bobby pins. I feel like a kid in a candy store.
Right now, I can honestly say, "my cup runs over," and mean it. God is awesome.