Imagine this: You're invited on an excursion with the love of your life. They tell you to go pack your bags because they've made some wonderful plans for you. They have some grand things to show you. You know without a doubt that this person loves you. They know you like the palm of their hand. So, whatever surprise they have up their sleeves, it's sure to be amazing. You cancel everything you had planned for that day, that weekend, and travel with them.
The anticipation is building. You're getting excited. "What are they up to?" you ask yourself in giddy expectancy. But when you make it to the destination, they hand you a cup. "Drink it," they say. You give them the side-eye and wonder what's in this unmarked cup. You take a sip...
and it's disgusting.
Utterly repulsive. You look up at the love of your life with disdain. "What in the world is this?!" you exclaim. You're confused, maybe even a little perturbed. And why wouldn't you be? Why would they give you this horrid drink?
Surely, they know how dreadful it is. They could've given you your favorite drink. Hot chocolate? A cappuccino, maybe? Even plain 'ol water would've done the trick... but this mess? Why? And what happened to the grand excursion? Did they bring you this far just to give you a terrible substance to swallow?
Got the picture? Good. Now, please understand that in many cases, this is exactly how God operates. We hear of the joy, the filled voids, the peace, and the grand plans that God has in store for those who choose to drop everything and follow Him.
We know He loves us, and that He knows us better than anyone. Isaiah 49:16 states that "I (God) have engraved you on the palms of my hands". He has never and will never forget us. The very popular Jeremiah 29:11 verse tells us He has plans to give us hope and a future. But sometimes on the road to that hope, while traveling to that future, God makes us drink from a bitter cup.
This is what the Lord says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must drink it.
(Jeremiah 49:12 NIV)
God says here that both those who deserved it, and those who did not deserve it, had to drink from the bitter cup. Some of us are facing hardships because of our disobedient ways towards God. Others are facing challenging times simply because it was ordained that way.
Yet, the difficult part is, whether it's deserved or not, we don't know what's going to be in our cup. Joesph dreamed that he would be exalted, but he didn't dream of drinking the bitterness of betrayal and slavery.
David knew God anointed him to be king, but he didn't know it came with the bitter cup of fleeing death from King Saul. Moses knew he was called to lead the Children of Israel, but he didn't know it was going to be a bitter 40 year wait before he did so.
We all have our cup to drink. What's in your cup today? Transparency moment: Mine is full of fatigue amongst other things... could be worse though. So, I thank God I'm able to sip from my cup right now, even if I screw up my face from the tartness from time to time.
But I know, that I know, that my excursion with God will not stop with my tart or bitter cup. Neither will yours. Christ also drank from an excruciatingly bitter cup when He died for our sins. His flesh told Him it was too bitter. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42 NIV)
It was not God's will for Christ's cup to be taken. It was God's will for Christ to die, resurrect, and reign. So, if your cup is bitter, before you ask God to take it away or make it sweet, ask that His will be done.
Because what if that cup is needed to give you those grand plans He has for you? If you ask Him to take it away, could you be unknowingly asking Him to take your wonderful future away too? It's something to think about. I'd advise that if your cup proves too bitter to consume, pray as Jesus did. Ask that He takes it only if it's in His will.
If it's in God 's will that you consume it, then pray to God that He helps you chug it. And I pray that if you must chug it, that it is followed by a cup overflowing with sweetness. Cheers, reader! For whatever is in our cup, God is the pourer, and He knows what is best for us and our future.
That's all I have for you this week, guys! Be blessed, and take care.
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Links listed below: