I have never had a cup of coffee in my life. True story. I’m not trying to be good, I just hate the taste. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen for the, “Try it! I promise it doesn’t taste like coffee” trick. Be assured, I don’t fall for it anymore. I will not try your coffee thing that doesn’t taste like coffee – period.
But what I do love, is tea – the caffeinated kind. English breakfast is my favorite. And don’t even try to get near me with Earl Grey. I hate it and will spit it out of my mouth. For those of you who love Early Grey (people often love it or hate it), I will just say, love the sinner, hate the sin. Dramatic much? Yes, it’s that serious.
While I appreciate the caffeinated boost in the mornings, I don’t actually need it. My husband often comments, “Maybe you don’t need that today, babe.” I know I have enough energy to go around. He pretty much could put an IV in me and run off of my fuel. But I digress – back to the tea.
Like most coffee drinkers, my hot tea in the morning is mostly a vehicle for yummy creamer. I admit it – it’s my vice in life. But if it’s not hot tea in my over-sized mug with a straw (yes, I drink hot tea with a straw. I drink everything with a straw – a reusable one, don’t worry), it’s iced tea in an even bigger cup with a straw. Actually, it’s usually both. It is a very normal occurrence to see me with two cups in my hands, in my car, or on my desk. One hot, one cold, both tea, with straws. There are things that you can just count on,
While I am always full of joy and Jesus, I am also almost always full of iced tea.
Maybe it’s because I have black tea flowing through my veins, but I am inspired by the theology of iced tea. Go with me here…
There are 3 ingredients you must have to make iced tea (at least the way I enjoy it).
And like everything else, I am drawn to the spiritual significance of this – the theology of iced tea.
Think about the tea in your life. The bitter dry things, broken, crushed and in pieces. Maybe they once were alive and whole but now, no matter how hard you try, you could never piece it all back together. Think about the pile of it all. What makes up that pile? The painful and chaotic. The things that aren’t bright anymore, now dull but with a slight reminder that they used to have color. What makes up the tea in your life?
Now think about the sugar. The good stuff – the joy bringers. What is delightful in your life right now? What do you enjoy? There are many different kinds of sugar: raw, syrupy, fine, fluffy and powdery, rich, and potent. How and where do you experience the different kinds of sugar? Things that give you energy and add spark to your life – the yummy goodness.
Our lives are full of both the bitter and sweet at all times.
You can’t have a wonderful glass of refreshing iced tea without the water. It’s the combination of all three at the same time that make it so good. But what kind of water? With Jesus we have the living water. The pure, refreshing, powerful and life-giving water that only comes from him. In his own words, when we drink this living water we will never thirst again.
Our lives will always be full of bitter hard things that exist right next to the sweet and wonderful ones. The Lord doesn’t promise that our days on the earth will be easy or without pain, but he does promise to always be with us.
When Jesus is invited into every area of our lives – the bitter and the sweet, the result is a full and powerful experience. It’s the blending of the bitter and sweet and the balance of the water to the elements that makes the tea just right. The key to a joyful life is to mix well.