Living Filled

It doesn’t happen often enough, but sometimes I’m quiet enough to let God speak through me. On this occasion, it happened after I showed grace toward a driver during a rain shower on an unfamiliar road. I’m not a fan of City Driving these days, which I define as there being more than three cars anywhere around me. Not that I’m a poor driver, but I certainly seem a magnet for them.

Driving Ms. Diane to Medical City-Frisco, a northern suburb of Dallas, we experienced the heaviest traffic we country folk had seen in a while. Adding to our challenge was the drive was unfamiliar to us. It was raining, and people were crazy. As Ms. Diane was busy hitting her imaginary brake on the passenger side of the car, I was doing my best to keep my calm and carry on. We were on our way to what we pray is the last major surgical procedure for my Ms. Diane; one that we’ve had to postpone at least three times. This much-needed procedure would address a long-overdue corrective action and we both prayed would be the end of an arduous health journey.

Suddenly, I had to take evasive action because a driver cut us off as they needed to move from left-to-right across three lanes of busy traffic. My wife of 25 years awaited my eruption of expletive-filled suggestions for the other driver. It never came. On this morning, I was determined to keep His peace. My goal was to keep myself and my loving bride as calm and peace-filled as possible this day. I saw no need to raise our blood pressure by joining in with the rest of the world, if the number of car horns and gestures were any indication. Instead, I made sure Ms. Diane was okay and comfortable. We merged back into the lane we needed and proceeded on our journey.

I should add that my job on earth is to point out stupid drivers and I’m renowned for my ability to spot them and provide a running commentary while driving. When my wife made note of my lack of response, I replied, “Keep my cup filled Lord, so I don’t see things half empty.” Most atypical for me was anything resembling wisdom, so we both laughed at my comment/prayer.

When Diane asked, “Where’d that come from?”, I could only reply with, “Must’ve been the Spirit talkin’.” Of course, that brought a smile, and we continued on our way. A few minutes later and another careless commuter made a maneuver that required me to react. Again, I managed to mutter a “Bless ‘em Lord and keep ‘em safe”. My wife grew quiet and after a bit commented, “I don’t know how you’re doing it, but I could never drive in all this traffic.” She added, “If I had to drive myself here, I’d never make it. How are you so calm?”

My response was, “Grace comes from the overflow Honey.” I explained that we can’t know what is going through that person’s mind as they drive distracted, but we can forgive their trespass and pray for their safety. In my life, I’ve learned that if I don’t seek God’s joy and peace in my life, then my hope in Christ can wane. When my cup begins to get low, I give the world an opportunity to fill the void. Perhaps this is why I focused on Psalm 23 that morning. I felt the need to overflow God’s peace onto my wife, the surgical team, and other caregivers. When emotions begin to overwhelm me, I find great peace in focusing my life on the words of Psalm 23:5. Perhaps it’s because this is how I learned this chapter many years ago, but the King James version is what I always hear.

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence
of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.”
(Psalm 23:5, KJV)

Grace comes from the overflow of God’s presence in your life. #Grace #Peace #Joy #Love Click To Tweet

It’s important for me to keep my cup filled with God’s peace, love, and joy. In doing so, I have a much better response to the world around me. It’s when I allow worldly thoughts and behaviors to find room in my life that I begin acting in worldly ways. When filled with God’s presence, His grace is what poured out. Thinking about this, I exclaimed, “You cain’t let out what ain’t in ya.” She chuckled in agreement and we safely made the last couple of miles to the hospital.

As she was off being prepped and undergoing surgery, I sat in prayer and reflection, wishing I could find a cup of coffee. Replaying the morning, I thanked God for His blessing of a safe journey, I begged His protection of Ms. Diane, and I asked His guidance of the surgeon’s hands. I also asked for the source of my peace with all that was going on around me. That’s when God brought my signature verse to mind.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy
and peace in believing, that you may abound
in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

(Romans 15:13, NKJV)

What’s a signature verse some might ask? I have to credit my writing friend Mrs. Linda Gilden with that term. As a beloved writing mentor, she taught me early on that Christian authors should pick a Scripture verse that defines their ministry. I never thought of my Christian writing as a ministry before her comments. I reflected on my tagline of, “May all joy be yours; may all glory be God’s”, prayed, and God helped me choose Romans 15:13. That’s the verse I inscribe into each book I sign.

Continuing to grow in Christ, I’ve come to understand that Romans 15:13 is a prayer that I send up each time I share it. My prayer is that the power of the Holy Spirit fills our cup to overflowing with His peace and joy so we might abound in hope.

It is our hope in Christ that enables us to overcome this world. #Hope #Joy #Peace #Christ Click To Tweet

My prayer for you this week is that you too can find your way to live a life filled with God’s peace, love, and joy. In doing so, we can live our best life and best shine His light into this darkened world. I leave you with a quote that I’ve never been able to find the source for. I think it sums up this piece better than any words I could share.

God’s blessings,



58 thoughts on “Living Filled”

  1. Inspiring and thoughtful as always. Romans15:13 is my verse of blessing to readers and a prayer for myself. Thanks for a great early morning read with my coffee:). When I refill my cup, I’ll pray for a full day of Him.

    1. Your reaction to those dangerous drivers was a perfect example of letting the fruit of the Spirit flow out of you. You are an inspiration to us, J.D. I hope the procedure helped Ms. Diane. Blessings to you both!

  2. J.D., wonderful post! I smiled as I often use my imaginary brake as well when in the passenger seat.
    Ms. Diane and I both know it works 🙂 I smiled as just the other day a friend and I were commenting how we no longer enjoy driving, especially on highways. You managed to bring the entire experience full circle to a most important truth – what is in our hearts will come out under pressure. I love your cup analogy. I once read, and wish I could give credit to the author, “What is down in the well comes up in the bucket.” May we keep our coffee cups and wells full with God’s peace, love, and joy.

    Praying for Ms. Diane to heal quickly! Blessings on you both!

    1. I have to remember that “well and bucket” analogy Ms. Joanne, and will have to give you the credit for my friend. Thank you! And yes, when Ms. Diane drives (albeit rarely these days), I’m hitting that right-side brake a lot too. 😀

  3. As someone who has driven a LOT of miles, your message brought back a lot of memories. I have also been enraged by dangerous drivers and can unleash a stream of complaints (and some bad words) about their aggressive and hazardous exploits on the highway. I’ve been crunched (crashed) twice by reckless drivers. It’s taught me to be extra cautious and always alert, as you were on this important journey. Thank you for sharing . Praying for healing and rapid recovery for your dear bride.

    1. Thank you Ms. Katherine. Yes! Your comments reminded me that “we are on an important journey in our Christian life” and it’s vitally important to maintain awareness so that we’re not crunched!

  4. What a stimulating and encouraging post, J.D. I laughed out loud again and again as you described your journey to the hospital. In our case, my Diane does most of the driving. That began when we were taking so many trips back and forth from VA to either Ohio or Tennessee. I’d take my computer and write whiel we were on the road. That was convenient, but there’s another element involved. I’ve often mentioned to folks that having her drive makes the trip easier for both of us. If she’s driving, she doesn’t have to deal with the added burden of telling me how it should be done, and, of course, I don’t have to continually attempting to explain why the way I do it is better.
    But what touched my heart the most was your sensitivity to both your sweet wife and to the Holy Spirit of God, whose desire was to help make the experience not only a healing venture but one that was as safe and uplifting as possible. Earlier this week, I heard someone say that you can never end up in the wrong place by doing the right thing. I think you illustrated that quite well this morning. Beyond that, my Diane and I continue to pray for God’s healing grace for your Diane and for His ongoing blessing over all that the two of you undertake together. Thank you for once again taking us along for the ride.

    1. Thank you Mr. Ron. I’ve almost always been the designated driver in our family, and that’s because I chose to be years ago (I felt the need for longevity required it, I bet your Ms. Diane just chuckled). And yes, my Diane hears much less commentary when she’s the passenger. Thank you also for all your family’s kind prayers through this health ordeal. While nearly “through the tunnel”, I think once we get her lungs cleared (anesthesia can be tough as we mature), we’ll clear the health hurdles for a while. God’s blessings my friend.

  5. I’m assuming from the upbeat nature of your post here, J. D., that Ms. Diane’s surgery was a success! I will pray for her complete recovery.
    And I truly needed this reminder that what we fill our cup with will eventually spill out. Let’s make sure the contents are worthy of the Lord!
    On a side note, I just got diagnosed with Covid yesterday. Not feeling terrible, but prayers are certainly appreciated.

    1. It’s been an amazing surgery Ms. Martha. Not every hurdle has been cleared yet, but the lack of pain from this extensive procedure can only be credited to God and His answers to my prayers, and those of many of our friends like you. We’ll be praying this be the lightest case of Covid recorded and that you’re back in the pink very soon ma’am. And no kissing Mr. Danny until you’re better. 🙂 He’ll hate this, but we all know it’s the right thing.

  6. Yesterday at a veterans breakfast meeting, we read from a book called “Blessing Your Spirit” where it talks about being an ambassador for Christ. Our group leader (Ret Col. USArmy Chinook pilot VN) requests two things: tell us what the HS is saying to us, then what are we going to do about it.

    I realized my habit of informing other drivers of their misdeeds or simple lack of courtesy in traffic was a poor ambassadorship to steer. My challenge is to be a JD disciple and keep my tongue from steering me to the rocks.

    Always a pleasure to see how alike we often are, sir. Carry on.

    1. Hooah sir. Please know that I continue to be a WIP my friend. Let’s both keep our eyes upon Christ, cause I’m certain to fail yet again. God’s blessings buddy, and our very best to your lovely bride.

  7. I’ve also heard that when we’re stomped on we either smell like a rose or a skunk depending on what we’re made of. Sheesh! When provoked to anger, how quick we are to draw conclusions about the idiots out there who must have it out for us. Grateful for God’s tender mercy and grace and peace that overflows from his heart into mine when I let him do his work of filling.

    1. HAH! I love that Ms. Mary. I’ve been accused of smelling like I’ve ingested the south end of a northbound skunk, but ain’t never been told I smell like I stomped on one! 🙂 I’ll remember that saying for many years to come ma’am. I’m with you ma’am, I too am far too quick to point out the ID-10-Ts around me. I wonder sometimes why God reminds me that when I’m pointing my finger at someone, three are pointing back at me.

  8. Oh my friend I needed this today. It’s been quite a crazy few weeks for me and the truth of what you share is so close to my heart. I pray for you and Ms. Diane regularly and I pray all went perfectly for her.

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. I am praising God that all seems to have gone well for my Ms. Diane. She had her drains removed yesterday, and if when God clears her lungs, I’ll feel we’re “out of the woods”. I pray my words, and more importantly God’s Words helped ma’am. We’ll be praying.

  9. Kathy Collard Miller

    I love your theme, J.D., because one of the theme verses of my ministry is Jeremiah 2:13: “for my people have committed two evils:
    they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
    and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
    Even a “flowing over” cistern only offers muddy and stagnant water. Not very appetizing. But you are offering free flowing fresh spring water. How blessed we are to be empowered to enjoy that. And offer it to others. Keep up the great work friend.

  10. I smiled as I read this, J.D. I know Frisco traffic, and it’s not easy to maneuver through it, much less bless other drivers instead of finding fault. I’m praying Ms. Diane will have a wonderful outcome and quick recovery from this surgery!

  11. What a great example of God working in your life, J.D.! I love when we can see evidence He fills us to overflowing. I, too, have been known to be “opinionated” about other drivers, but the Lord has done a great work in me over the years. God is good! You made the point that you started your morning with a God-inspired goal. I think that’s a critical part of the filling process. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ditto Ms. Melissa. As my family is so grateful for you and Bop sharing your faith lives with us. God’s blessings ma’am, and thank you for the prayers.

  12. Oh how I related to and learned from this post! I have one of those imaginary brakes, too. Thankful the Lord is there to protect and guide you on this journey of life. Thankful, also, for the blessing you are to me and so many.

    1. I’m right there with you Ms. Candyce. As the words of the old hymn goes, “Without Him, how lost I would be…” As for the blessing of “being there”? Ditto my precious friend.

  13. I had to smile at Mrs. Diane’s imaginary brake on the passenger’s side. I have one of those, too! 🙂

    I can easily get tense and frazzled in city traffic, no matter who is driving. Highways are a place where it’s abundantly clear that most of the population thinks of “me first.”

    I ask the Lord most mornings to filled me with His Spirit and to help me act, react, think, and feel as He wants me to. But sometimes I have to repeat that prayer in trying moments through the day. Meditating on His Word helps so He can bring it back to mind when we need it most. Thanks for a vivid illustration of that!

    I hope and pray for Mrs. Diane’s continued recovery.

    1. LOL I think most of us have one of those imaginary brakes. Does your auto have finger imprints on the dashboard like mine? 🙂 And thank you for the meditating comment, it truly does help us to keep our hearts and minds focused where they need to be. God’s blessings Ms. Barbara.

  14. Well, this one brought a smile to my face. I can’t wait to read it to my hubby!
    Like Diane, I use my imaginary brake often 🙂
    We are making many trips to the doc, and hospital these days.
    Much love to both of you!

    1. I pray it brings a smile to Mr. Scott’s face also. I just returned from another doctor visit with my Ms. Diane today, after two yesterday, so I can certainly appreciate what you’re going through. Know that we are continuing to pray victory on your behalf each day sweet sister.

  15. “I should add that my job on earth is to point out stupid drivers and I’m renowned for my ability to spot them and provide a running commentary while driving.” I laughed when I read this. It reminded me of my dad. He identified the “idiots” on the rode. Love hearing how God’s grace carried you. Now for speedy healing for your beloved bride!

    1. I’ll take that as a compliment young lady. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the post Ms. Debbie. You’ve made my day also.

  16. I love that Ms. Diane has an imaginary brake on the passenger side of the car. I have one, too, and use it often! Doesn’t matter who’s driving! I’m so thankful that her surgeries are done! That’s a blessing, and so was your post as always. Thank you, J.D.

    1. LOL Most of us do have that imaginary brake Ms. LuAnn. 🙂 Thank you so much for your prayers and encouraging words ma’am. Congratulations on your latest book release. I can’t wait to share it with my longtime friend Ms. Jan. You’ve quickly become one of her favorite authors.

  17. Such a good story we can all most certainly relate to. I’m with Ms. Diane, I get nervous and don’t like to drive in heavy and crazy traffic. And raining too, no way!

    Thank you, J.D., for your openness and vulnerability in sharing with us. Praying Ms. Diane is recovering well.

    1. And that’s why God brought you Pastor Mike Ms. Karen; so you don’t have to drive through Nashville during a rainstorm. 🙂 God’s blessings sweet sister; an thank you for your prayers for Diane. We felt them all.

  18. I had to smile at your description of the traffic into Frisco, brother JD, because I live very close by, and I find your words very mild. Yes, it’s wild and crazy up here! It took me decades to get used to it, but now God has removed all fear and given me peace. You and Ms. Diane will have to stop by for a visit next time!

    Another wonderful lesson from you that really touched my heart. May our hearts overflow with His love and good spiritual fruit. Continuing to pray for Ms. Diane’s perfect healing from our Jehovah Rapha. Blessings to you both.

    1. Awww… Thank you Ms. Karen. Far more kind than this old soul deserves ma’am. I so appreciate your encouragement. And yes, I can see how it would take years to getting used to the drivers around the DFW area. I’m not sure God has equipped me with enough patience for that yet. 🙂 And yes, one day, we would love to stop by for a visit, or you here. Traffic’s a little less “competitive.” 😀

  19. Hey, I’m glad to hear you have at least one fault – correcting annoying drivers! : ) After 32 years of maneuvering a busy highway to work and back, I learned to let some things just be. There will always be bad and rude drivers, but I don’t have to be one of them. While I wasn’t a pushover, I didn’t react with rage and sign language! Glad you made it without incident and glad the surgery happened as scheduled this time.
    I can’t imagine your not realizing your writing is a ministry. It most definitely is. Your words bring comfort, wisdom, inspiration, hope, and joy to many every week including me. Your articles and books do the same. I actually base my Ewe R Blessed Ministries primarily on my writing and my mission trips.

    1. LOL… Oh, I have many ma’am. I too have long ago let go of (asked God to take) my rage at stupidity. Instead, I find myself praying that if they’re in that big a hurry that it’s because they’re trying to get to a hospital but, if not, that they avoid a trip there themselves. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I so enjoy your posts, thoughts, and treasured moments with God that they bring.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top