Take This Cup




“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me;
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42
Are you ready? If you knew tonight, at the dawning of tomorrow, that you would die, then what images of your life would pass before you? In looking at the totality of what has been your life, would you be satisfied?
God’s act of scooping into this earth and creating man irrevocably connected us with this earth. As physical beings, we live in an imperfect world, where there is pain and sorrow. While living in this imperfect world, we embrace our faith in God and look towards the promise of Heaven. The world seeks to pull us down, while God seeks to pull us upward.
As we face life, there is often the perception that difficulties arise, in order to build our character, in order to build our faith, and in order to increase our strength. As Daniel was being dropped into the lion’s den, I can hear someone in the crowd yelling, “This will build character.” When Daniel was led, unharmed, up from the lions’ den, he didn’t articulate that a miraculous change had occurred in his life and he didn’t testify his character had been changed. Daniel only commented:
“My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths.” (Daniel 6:22)

Daniel’s salvation gave hope to those who had remained safely above. As the lions paced around him, I can imagine Daniel raising the cup of his life to God and whispering, “Take this cup.” Daniel was the cup from which God poured out a miracle upon His people.
As Jesus Christ, knelt in the garden, holding up His cup to God, I envision the cup containing the lives of all those who He had touched. I peer into the cup. I see the dead brought to life (John 11). I see the blind given sight (Matthew 9:29). I see demons cast out (Matthew 8:28-34). I see the sick healed (Mark 1:41-42). I see the love of God flowing freely from the cup of Jesus Christ.
As Jesus Christ knelt in the garden, He wept for the souls of others, until there were no more tears to shed, only the blood of His very being (Luke 22:44). Jesus Christ’s cup overflowed with compassion and love. He did not seek to save Himself, rather He offered Himself, His cup to the world.
As Jesus Christ hung from the cross, people vehemently jeered, “Save thyself” (Matthew 27:40). What love, that Jesus Christ would leave Heaven, come down into this darkened world, and then submit Himself to the cruelty of being crucified, just so that we could be saved. He offered His life, His cup, that we might be saved.
When I feel as though I have been tossed into a den of lions, with the people above screaming, “This will build character.” I want to say, “God, take this cup.” When the suffocating darkness of this world seeks to overwhelm me, I want to say, “God, take this cup.” I want to see Heaven.

I peer over the edge of the cup of my life and glimpse the totality of my life. I wonder whether it has been enough. Was I silent, when I should have spoken? Did I speak, when I should have remained silent? Did I demonstrate the love of God?
The hour approaches, when God will call my name. As the sound of my voice fades from this earth and memories of my face become blurred, it is my hope, no, it is my prayer, that my cup will be empty. The emptiness of my cup, bearing witness that all of the love and blessings which God has bestowed upon me have been returned to others.
As others before me, I will gladly take all of the tears and sorrows of this world with me for I know, as I rise towards Heaven, that tears and sorrows will not even be memories; they will not exist. As I begin to bask in the brightness of God‘s love, I whisper “Take this cup.”
(copyright 2005)


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