The Benefits of Caffeine

When I smelled the coffee brewing, I knew John was already up. As I wandered sleepily into the kitchen, my morning-is-my-favorite-part-of-the-day husband beamed as he thrust a package in my face.

“Here, Honey, I bought you a little something.”

“Nice gift wrap,” I teased as I looked at the attractive plastic bag embellished with a green Dollar Tree logo. “Thanks, Babe. I can’t wait to see what it is.”

“I think you’ll really like it. You said that gifts don’t have to be expensive. It’s the thought that counts, right?”

“That’s what I said. It’s the dollar, I mean, the thought that counts.”

John knew that one of my love languages is gift giving and he was trying really hard to show the love, but when I opened the bag, I gasped.

A Christian coffee cup.

From a dollar tree.

With my least favorite scripture.

Normally, I might question the salvation of a mug redeemed from a secular retailer, but anything that could live with the verse it endorsed had to be right with God. 

After one look, though, I decided that this gospel goblet would never have fellowship with Folgers. It would have to be regifted. How am I supposed to drink coffee staring at a verse that I have issues with?

I looked at John and faked a toothless smile. “Thanks, Honey.”

Doesn’t he know I don’t like that verse?

Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

How am I supposed to be still? It goes against my nature to be still. When I was little, I remember sitting next to my father in church swinging my legs back and forth as I admired my black patent shoes and white lace socks. My daddy would put his hand on my leg and sternly whisper/shout, “Chrissie, SIT still.” I couldn’t do it then and it’s very difficult to do it now.

I’m sure it’s because I had ADD when I was younger although I’ll never know for certain since I was born before the condition was diagnosed. But I don’t think God cares. Obviously, He is trying to get my attention because this Psalm keeps chaffing my skin like a peeling sunburn.

John probably didn’t know that this scripture makes me itch. But God knew. And He didn’t care. Nope—not at all. In fact, I think he delighted in antagonizing me with it because lately, everywhere I turn, this verse keeps coming back like a boomerang.

When John wasn’t looking, I hid the coffee cup in the back of the cupboard . But, a few months later, it boomeranged again.

I was in the garage painting a nightstand that I bought at an estate sale. I put black and white harlequin diamonds on the top and bronze leopard on the drawer faces. Standing back and admiring my work, I realized…it needed something else. But what?

Hmm.

Maybe a scrolling scripture would add just the right touch.

I sat down and thought. What would be the right verse? What would speak to my heart?

Suddenly, the garage door opened.

“I brought you some coffee,” announced John. “And look what I found? I bet you’ve forgotten all about this cup. I guess Garrett must have emptied the dishwasher one day and it got hidden way in the back of the cupboard.”

My gospel goblet from a dollar tree.

Be still and know that I am God.

Hmm. Somehow now, the verse seemed just right.  I guess some wisdom takes a little longer to brew. Maybe being still isn’t so bad after all.   

“Thanks for the coffee, Babe. But drinking it in this cup is a bit counterproductive. Caffeine and being still don’t really mix well.”

“It’s decaf.”

Of course.

Be still and know that I am God looks really good in red.

  painted chest

I guess some things can only be learned by experience.

What about you? Do you have boomerang verses that keep coming back?

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13 Responses to The Benefits of Caffeine

  1. Barbara Spillman April 1, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    I really enjoyed reading this article because it is so true that sometimes the very thing we don’t want to hear is what God knows we need to hear. it’s also interesting because that verse has always been one of my favorites. God has spoken that to me so many times when I’ve been on a walk by myself and everything in my world seems crazy and not making any sense, or I feel that I’ve done everything I can in a difficult situation and things still look hopeless. God reminding me to “be still and Know” is a gentle reminder to me letting me know that I can trust Him to take care of things in ways I know nothing of or cannot comprehend. I think we can still be active in body, and yet He calls our spirit to be “at rest” as we wait on Him for the answer. It’s our Father’s way of saying, “I love you, I deeply care about what concerns you, and as you wait on me, I will amaze and surprise you what I’m going to do for you.
    A golden nugget of truth in an inexpensive coffee mug is priceless, as is the love behind it.

  2. Claire Frichette April 1, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    I had to chuckle while reading your article about your coffee cup. I am soooooo the opposite. I love that scripture. I think I was born still. I work around several employees that just bounce off the wall. I had to stop one lady that was talking faster that I could think. I may have yeld and really didn’t mean to. I said, “Stop, slow down, remember I live in O..K..L..A..H..O..M..A. I think as slow as I talk.”
    So, many times I have prayed, “Lord, may I have just one ounce of the energy these people have!” So, here I sit, slow as malaces. If you have a scpripture for me, I sure would stand on it.
    Love your stories,
    Claire Frichette (biker name: Squeak) 🙂

  3. Christy Johnson April 1, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    I’m busted…funny how we are all different. Maybe Barb and Claire’s “stillness” will rub off on me. And, Claire, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of talking faster than others can think and I even grew up in OK…See…I even write fast…I abbreviate…ok, deep breath…breathe in…I’m practicing…I’m being STILL!

  4. Eva juliuson April 1, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks for sharing your verse which is one of my favorites… and it was good for me to hear it today! Your writing is a blessing!!!

    I have a couple of book signings coming up at Borders ( across from Integris) at 1PM May 9 and Full Circle Books at 2PM May 16. They are for the 2 latest Cup of Comfort books- Women of the Bible and Devotionals for Mothers and Daughters. Check into writing for them!

    Love from your writing-for-Christ sis,
    Eva

  5. Dale Litvany April 1, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”…All day, every day! Temptation is everywhere! Food, Money, Shopping, and words out of my mouth!

    Oh, I pray all day long to dodge the evils that constantly tempt me to stray from my diligence. “Should I, or shouldn’t I” say this, buy that, eat his or that?, wear this or that? do this or that? and on and on.

    The saying leads me to distinguish which choice I make, and by the Grace of GOD I am still here! Far from “perfect”, I am not ever going to be that! I do have devilish tendencies at times, and that little saying throws me right back on the right track!

    Also, I have learned the hard way that “GOD KNOWS”! I used to hear people saying that, and never gave it much thought, but after years of complicated plans going by the wayside, I realize now (I am turning 63 on 4/22) that the only one that really knows is GOD, without exception!

    Give it a try!

  6. Christy Johnson April 1, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    Eva, I will stop by your book signing. How exciting!! And thanks for the tip. Garrett has an audition on the 16th at 1:00 at OCU, so I will come your way when he is done.

    I taught at church last Sunday to our Titus 2 group on this verse and also the one in your email prayer today. What a confirmation!

    Be strong, all who wait with hope for the Lord, and let your heart be courageous. Waiting and being still are so similar.

    and to you, lovely Dale….Happy birthday to you!!

  7. Gaye Jacob April 1, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    I didn’t know they had scripture coffee cups at Dollar Tree! I’ll have to get some for home group!

    I can definitely relate to the “being still” problem. I was diagnosed with ADHD (in adulthood – you can only guess what I was like as a child) and I am either moving or asleep. To me, being still = being asleep or unconscious. I’m rationalizing that the Psalm means “still” in soul and spirit, not body. After all, God made us this wonderful and fearful way, right? 😉

  8. Marta Ruffin April 1, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    Well, Ms Soul sista, You have definitely done it again. I have been laboring for the last couple of weeks over some issues that are going on in my life & had just told the Lord yesterday, that I needed some reassurance; a word from him, on what I needed to do. STAND STILL!!!! of course. What else is there to do, but, wait on the Lord, keep waiting, believing & trusting. We are all on God’s time table & under his control. His delays are not NO’s, but, are for our good.God is saying that it is coming, you just don’t need it right now. Keep the faith my Sisters & Brothers.
    Love you Girl!!!!!
    Marta

  9. Marta Ruffin April 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    Christi, what are you going to do with the table? and, John, I think the mug is adorable!!!!!

    Marta

  10. Christy Johnson April 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    I love you Marta, but not enough to part with my table LOL! The coffee cup, no prob!!! I have the nightstand on top of a table in my living room. You can look at it on my website. I’ve got a pic of it on the Dumpster Diva page. Scroll down and you’ll see it. If I ever get rid of it, I’ll let ya know:)

    Blessings to you dear as you wait and trust in the Lord. He is so faithful and as you delight in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart. I love how you used the word “labor” because that means that there is an end to your issue!! A peaceful end! I love and miss you!

  11. Melissa April 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    this was really good..
    very funny.

    kinda funny my dad thought it was garrett who
    put it in the back of the cupboard. lol.

  12. Darla Muralt April 19, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    LOL! Finally you wrote on a subject my ever bouncing brain waves can relate to…Coffee! Caffeine!! Stimulation! Oh wait that’s wasn’t your point was it? You see how much I depend on you to keep me on the right path? Was there like a 3 step program after the part about being still??? A hotline to call?
    Your scripture has not been one of my favorites either. I’ll probably have to re-read this one a couple more times…and try to be still. Love ya for trying! ddddarla

  13. Debbie Priest April 20, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Hey Christy, I just found saw you on the ReviveOK page, and thought I would stop by your web page, too… and WOW, I love it! You are really a gifted writer!! I just read this blog and loved it about coming across the same “messages” over and over… happens to me, a lot! 🙂 It was so good to have you in our cabin at the retreat, and get to meet you! I would love to get together with you sometime! Blessings to you!! 🙂

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