noun: used to represent the lot, fate, or course of one’s life; a situation beyond someone’s control
Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out: “Papa, Father, you can–can’t you?–get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want–what do you want?” Mark 14:35-36 MSG
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wrestled with the cup placed before him. He knew that the cup was filled with agony, with abandonment, with loss. He did not want to drink it, and he didn’t even pretend to. He desperately begged his Father more than once to take it from him–praying so hard that his forehead sweat actual drops of blood.
He felt panic. He felt grief. He wanted God to do things in a way that wouldn’t hurt so much.
Ahhh. Don’t we all feel like this sometimes?
We don’t like what is in our cup and we want something different. We ask God, beg him, to take something difficult, painful, terrifying away?
Nothing any of us have to face will be as significant as the cup that our Lord Jesus had to drink for us, yet this important part of the Easter story reminds us that he knows exactly how it feels.
Sometimes he changes our circumstances.
And sometimes he doesn’t.
Not my will but yours be done…
Each time that Jesus asked God to take the cup of pain and death away from him, his next sentence was this: “But please, not what I want–what do you want?”
In this prayer of trust and surrender, he gives us hope. He models how to pray through the darkest, hardest, most confusing times in our lives. He reminds us that God has everything in his hands, and that he knows exactly what he is doing. He helps us to lift our eyes and our hearts to believe that he will bring good.
The cup of death that Jesus drank, as horrific as it was, was powerfully and beautifully transformed into the cup of life. His faithfulness in the struggle brought freedom and love and life-changing victory for all who believe in him.
Because he drank his cup, we can drink ours. Can’t we?
Let’s Invite Him In: Pray hard with Jesus. Let him help you bring your fears, your struggles, your pain to the Father. Ask him to help you to want what he wants, to trust him for the ultimate good. He is right beside you, strengthening you and giving you peace as you drink your cup.