Iced tea is a staple of most southern homes. Ours is no exception. We also have our favorite brand of tea bags. We like our tea to be pretty strong and one brand in particular does just what we want. Their bags have no wrappers or staples so it’s very easy to plop three or four of the quart sized bags in the boiling water.
As I was making a fresh gallon of tea I grabbed the box of bags out of the cabinet. As I went to put bags in the water I looked and found that there was a “dud” in the box. It was a perfectly formed bag but not one speck of tea leaf was inside! I pitched that bag and went on about my business. There was only one problem, as I fished for more bags I discovered that many of them were either empty or had only a tiny amount of tea leaves inside. I was disappointed at the contents of the box. I bought this brand because we like it and because the bags are always just right. I contacted the company and they are going to send me a brand new box full of full teabags. Not only that, they are sending me a box to mail the “dud” box back so they can see for themselves. Disappointment comes in the strangest places and we are surely disappointed.
These things happen though. You find something you enjoy and it is part of your regular life. Next thing you know the company improves it in some way and it’s no longer the quality you want. The occasional mistake in packaging is expected but a whole box of unfulfilled packages is just not right.
Life is a lot like those teabags. Just as we find ourselves enjoying things the way we like them, something comes up short. We get disillusioned, dismayed and frustrated. We don’t find what we’re looking for anymore. Our dreams, our hopes, our pleasures come up short – we might even feel like life is a “dud”. Empty, broken promises and wishes cause us to wonder where the quality of life can really be found. Some people will move on and search for the right thing elsewhere. Others just look at the emptiness and find blame, fault and bitterness.
When I found the Lord, I opened His box of love letters and read from them often. I pored over them and the concoction of grace, peace and joy was always there for me. In all the years I’ve known the Lord, not once has He come up empty, left me unfulfilled or broken a promise. No “duds” in His Word ever. His promises prove to be true over and over and over again. His love proves to be full and rich no matter when I need it. It’s the same in the joys of life. It’s the same in the sorrows of hardship. He’s never short of content and His promises are never hollow. I am so thankful that even when other things, other people, other desires fall short, God is always there, Perfect in all His Glory and Absolute in all His ways.
Oh beloved, you may have tasted of some sweet delight and discovered it didn’t live up to your expectations. You are left holding an empty bag of promises, expectations and desires. You’re pretty sure that your life is used up and only fit for the trash heap. Don’t despair! Run to the Lord this morning and give Him your empty “duds” and watch as He replaces them with all He has and all He is! He is the ultimate manufacturer – nothing He ever does is wrong. Nothing He ever makes is mismatched. Everything He has for you is available to you in such perfection that you’ll never go searching again! He is your all in all and provides strength in your weakness, hope in your despair, gladness for mourning and peace in the chaos of empty promises from other sources. His Word cannot fail you ever! His truth will not weaken ever! His love will not come up short for you ever! His care is perfect and He will not disappoint, no matter what! God will never leave you disappointed for His love and care is perfect and always available no matter what! And all His promises are free for the taking as you live in the light of His Word.
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 145:13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps His promises; He is gracious in all He does.
Psalm 119:65 You have done many good things for me, Lord, just as you promised.
Isaiah 45:22 Let all the world look to Me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.
2 Corinthians 1:22 and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.