Posted by: rcottrill | January 3, 2014

Fill My Cup, Lord

Words: Richard Eugene Blanchard, Sr. (b. _____, 1925; d. Apr. 19, 2004)
Music: Richard Eugene Blanchard, Sr.

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Richard Blanchard)

Note: Richard Blanchard was born in China of missionary parents. When they returned to the United States, they lived in Indiana, then North Carolina. In his adult years, Blanchard served as a pastor in the United Methodist denomination for forty years.

A severe lung condition required two surgeries, leaving him with only one third of the normal lung capacity. But in spite of physical limitations, the pastor continue to serve the Lord, even launching a television ministry popular in the Miami area. He also wrote numerous songs and, interestingly, a musical about Francis of Assisi. Fill My Cup, published in 1959, is by far his best known song.

The writing of Fill My Cup came about in an unusual way. Pastor Blanchard was waiting for the arrival of a couple for marriage counseling. They were late for the appointment. Not a little irritated, the pastor sat down at the piano to kill time while the minutes ticked away. That’s hardly the best frame of mind to write about fullness of life in Christ! But it was then the idea for a gospel song came to him. He said, “When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in the mood to use me.”

The song is based on the Lord’s encounter with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, in a place called Sychar (Jn. 4:5-42). As Bartlett describes her, she was indeed a woman who was searching for something. Searching for happiness, for meaning, for contentment. But so far she’d been looking in all the wrong places! Married five times, and currently living with a sixth man (vs. 17-18), she was about to find the answer to her lifelong quest.

She had come to draw water from the well for her daily needs. And the Lord Jesus used that water to start a conversation about spiritual things. This is a wonderful technique to use in our own witness. Take a common interest or experience, and use it to introduce the Saviour.

Christ began by asking for a drink (vs. 7). This was unusual, given that “the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (vs. 9), and the two groups were generally hostile to one another. When she puzzled over this, Jesus said:

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water….Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (vs. 10, 13-14).

The Spirit of God, and the work of the Spirit, are symbolized or pictured by water a number of times in the Word of God. Just as water is refreshing and revitalizing to us in a physical sense, the Holy Spirit brings new birth and new life, and reviving to us spiritually.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn. 7:39-39).

At the well that day, the woman not only became a believer herself, at least in an elementary way, but immediately she sought to bring others to Christ (vs. 28-29, 39-42).

1) Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
And then I heard my Saviour speaking:
“Draw from my well that never shall run dry.”

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

In his second stanza, Mr. Bartlett draws a parallel to the “millions in this world” who are looking for satisfaction in “the pleasures earthly things afford.” But he declares that none can match the soul satisfaction found in Jesus Christ.

That leads him to make a gospel appeal in the final stanza. He invites those who have been searching, and finding nothing that truly satisfy, to come to Christ and trust in Him for salvation and life abundant.

3) So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you,
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray:

1) What are some of the things people are trying today, in hopes of finding fulfilment and satisfaction?

2) What is it about the Lord and His salvation that is satisfying?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Richard Blanchard)


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  2. Thank you for sharing this story and insight! Now everytime I sing this song I’ll have a greater understanding of God’s Word this testimony!

    • You’re welcome. Good to hear from you. This is the kind of thing that can also be shared by a service leader in church, to give the congregation a new appreciation for the song when they sing it. God bless.

  3. […] woke the other morning thinking of the lyrics of “Fill my Cup” by Richard Blanchard. I recalled every word.  I remembered the woman with many husbands, a […]

    • Thanks for the link to my article. God bless.


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