"Drinking The Cup"
November 20, 2011
And going a little farther He (Jesus) fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:39
Drinking the cup.
We know where the reference comes from: it is taken from the Savior's time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
In that prayer He said He was ready, if necessary, to suffer and die for humanity. If it was His Father's will, He was prepared to drink from the cup of suffering. And although He was and is the Son of God, the carrying of our sins to the cross was, quite understandably, an experience He did not relish.
Today, because Jesus drank from the cup we have been called to faith and become part of God's saved people.
Drinking from the cup.
Although you may already have drunk from an unpleasant cup, there are others of us who wonder: will we be able to drink from a sorrowful cup if that is to accomplish the gracious Lord's purpose?
I have known more than one of God's saints who have passed that test.
I remember one woman, a 32-year-old mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. One doctor told her to get out her bucket list and check off as many items as she could. Another told her that radical treatment might buy her some time, but just a little.
The mother said to her three children, "I've chosen to try to survive for you. This has some horrible costs, including pain, loss of my good humor, and moods I won't be able to control. But I must try this, if only on the outside chance the Lord might give me one more minute -- and He might use that minute to help you when no one else could. This is the struggle to which I am pledging myself. God's will be done."
I can tell you at the time they first heard their mother, those three children didn't understand the weight of mom's words. Today, many years later, they understand, and they love their mother for having tried. They love the lady because she drank from the cup and said, "Not my will, but Thy will be done."
Now she has spoken to you, too. And you understand what to do if that cup is ever passed into your hands.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, most of us would prefer a life filled with sweetness and light and gentle breezes. Because of sin many of us will drink from a cup that is bitter, dark and churned by harsh wind. At those times may we be assured that Your will can be done, even in our sufferings. This we pray for in the Name of Jesus, who drank from the cup. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries