Old cup and bowl from stainless steel

Old cup and bowl from stainless steel

Recently I had a medical procedure which required me to drink about a gallon of liquid in a couple of hours. Every ten minutes I was to consume eight ounces of this clear stuff which was supposed to have a “cherry” flavor to it. The directions recommended that the solution be cooled, and desiring to be an exemplary patient, I followed all the directions to the letter.

Let me just tell you that that stuff was absolutely, positively the very, very WORST tasting NASTIEST drink I have ever drank in my entire life. If they made drinking this concoction a part of “Fear Factor” nobody would advance to the next round. After having to force myself to drink it, I felt fully prepared for the end of the world. Bring it on. I have looked death in the face and survived.

There are times in each of our lives where circumstances or situations are very, very hard to swallow. The cup we are asked to drink is most bitter and causes every fiber of our innermost being to recoil from the horror of the reality which is being forced upon us. At such times God seems very far away as our lives our enveloped in a fearful darkness.

On a fateful night long ago, a humble carpenter, a most gentle and loving soul, drank from two cups–the first communion cup was full of life and blessing, the other cup of woe was full of death and a fearsome curse. And in between the drinking of those two cups, Jesus encouraged His faithful followers of all ages to abide in Him so that they might bear much fruit (John 15:1-5).

Life’s two cups

The life of a fruit-bearing Christian is always oscillating between the two cups. While all of us would like to take up permanent residence in the Upper Room of feasting, there are times when the Lord asks us to travel with Him to the painful, blood-stained Garden of suffering. It was there in Gethsemane Jesus sweated blood over that second cup,and it was because of His infinite courage and sacrifice, our lives are saved for eternity.

Thank-you Jesus, for drinking that cup of woe. The cup of death that was meant for me, you have taken out of my hands and swallowed every last drop. All of a sudden, what You have asked me to swallow doesn’t seem so distasteful anymore.