This Bitter Cup?

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "My Jesus I Love Thee"1 (Lyrics)

I was given a plain white porcelain cup, slightly over one inch tall. What could I do with such a wee thing? Still, out of respect for the giver, I kept it.

Months afterwards, the horticultural fair listed an item: "Mini-arrangement, height not more than three inches." The wee cup was perfect to exhibit my blue forget-me-nots and tiny pink rosebuds. And the mini-arrangement was awarded a prize! The tiny cup, which had seemed almost disgusting, had come to hold great glory.

Matthew 26:39-42 – Going a little farther, [Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." (NIV)

Jesus' bitter cup in the garden of Gethsemane that would not pass from Him – His sacrifice for our sins on the cross – was hard for Him to face until He accepted it with, "May your will be done." The cup that He drank came to hold great glory: the eternal salvation of all who will accept His sacrifice.

Often, we human beings cannot immediately know the worth of the cup given to us. Why does God allow deformity, illness, limited intellect, or ugliness? Why does God call us to serve doing a difficult task in a dangerous place?

Yet, we can depend on the fact that accepted and kept before our God with the prayer, "Your will be done," the divine choice for us will be made glorious, even a part of God's plan of salvation for many.

Let us calmly trust this promise of His Word: "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

Prayer: Teach us, Lord Jesus, that we will taste Your goodness as we drink Your cup. Pass on to us, we pray, a large portion of Your great trust in the Father Almighty. Strengthen us in spirit so that we will not be tempted away from Your purposes by the wiles of the evil one. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Isabel Allison
Roland, Manitoba, Canada

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good challenge Isabel.

    Dear Isabel: Thank you for that insightful reminder of living moment by moment in His presence!

    Thank you Isabel for today’s devotional. So well written with such a powerful message. Please write again, as His will moves you.

    Thank you for your delightful devotional, and it is very timely for me as I have been contemplating our Lord’s passion, and the role that gardens play.

    Thank you, Isabel, for Bitter Cup.
    Indeed a small cup -vessel – holds eternal power in God’s hand.
    Jesus drank the cup for our salvation.
    Cup of eternal purpose filled with God’s blessing.
    I am blessed for the day!

    I feel recharged. My faith completely refreshed.
    I am without words to express the feelings surging through my body as I read your devotional…the spirit working.
    Thanks again for being the vessel FATHER chose to bring HIS word to me.
    (Texas, USA)

    Hi Isabel,
    Your devotionl brought back many memories of seemingly useless gifts at one time later being “just what the doctor ordered” later on. And it is the same with some short references in the Bible which when entered into the diary for that day turned out later to be of great solace and import later on.

    Your “little cup” became a symbol for the bitter cup that I am drinking from just now.
    I have let “the wiles of the evil one” lead me into negativity and self-pity.
    Your words led me to a deeper understanding of the purpose of this.
    I am trusting in a loving God to bring His purposes from it.
    Thank you for your nourishing devotional,
    (BC Canada)

    BELOVED Isabel!
    Yes! indeed.
    Calm trust in the LORD, who is our WAY, Truth and Life is the key to the JOY and strength provided when we pray, “Your will be done, Your kingdom come.”
    What joy to run to the Throne of Grace with thanksgiving and expectation. In/through Christ we have unrestricted access. That’s the best news you and I may share with anyone.
    Thanks for writing to us via PresbyCan Daily.
    The LORD Bless you and keep you.

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