04 Mar Poured Out
Doesn’t it just make you want to throw up?! Admittedly, I do not throw up easily. I have, as they say, a cast-iron stomach. I do not spew or bring forth or ralph or upchuck easily (some of our kids’ favorite euphemisms). Our hesitancy to empty our systems in another way is holding us back spiritually.
While I was doing graduate work at Florida State, the pool was near the football training facility. These were the Coach Bobby Bowden days, when FSU was a powerhouse with great success. I remember walking by their facility early in the morning with the doors open, probably for fresh air and to circulate the hot air generated by their intense training. I looked in, and I saw several trash cans strategically placed near the doors.
I found out what the trash cans were for. FSU training camps were known to be very difficult. Getting conditioned to play football in that heat takes a great deal of effort. The coaches pushed their players as far as they could push them. It was a badge of honor for the coaches to have their players throw up at the end of practice. Nausea is a sign they had worked so hard, the blood had gone to their extremities and away from their bowels. They did all they could do.
Do you ever feel like you have done all you can do? Physically, when your reach that point, nausea is common. Spiritually, being exhausted can make you feel defeated. When we are mentally tired, we are prone to make mistakes. Maybe being completely exhausted is not so good.
Paul does not teach Timothy, or us, to be exhausted. He does not write about burning the candle at both ends or staying busy every waking minute. Paul comes to the end of his life, and teaches Timothy, and us, one more lesson.
Paul tells Timothy, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come” (2 Ti. 4:6). Paul is not saying he is spiritually, mentally, and physically spent. He is not saying he has tirelessly served the Gospel above all else. Those thing may be true, but Paul says as the end approaches, my life is a sacrifice to God.
A drink offering was part of the worship system God set up in the wilderness when He gave the law to Moses. The priests were to pour wine on the altar to please God. Paul offered his life as an offering to God.
The drink offering is a great comparison because there is no confusion about the totality of the offering. The priests measured out the wine serving; it was in the cup; they poured it over the altar with a big flare up of flame; and then the cup was empty. It is rather beautiful to think about.
We are being poured out for Jesus. Each follower of Jesus is one serving—the length of our life is measured out. We give ourselves to Jesus’ purposes, and our offerings burn brightly for all to see. We do not hold anything back as we are poured out for Jesus. Jesus is glorified, and our lives serve a purpose in God’s great plan.
Blessings to you,