Today's Reading - John 18:1-27
In this passage we have the arrest of Jesus, his first being taken to and then questioned by Annas, and Peter’s denials of Jesus. The verse on which I am going to focus is 11, more specifically, the final sentence, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” After Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus, Caiaphas’s servant, when he and others come to arrest Jesus, Jesus speaks the above quote. The quote can be interpreted as, “By allowing myself to be arrested, I am fulfilling my Father’s plan for me.”
When I read this sentence, I immediately thought of the expression, “Play the hand you were dealt.” This is an expression I have thought about a lot lately as I have reflected on the negative events in my life and how they could have been different (read: better) if I received a different hand or cup. Leave it to God to give me this passage on which to blog, one I chose because I was trying to blog on unique accounts in the gospels. This was not even the topic about which I was going to initially write for this blog post…that was the difference between Jesus’s questioning by Caiaphas and an American trial or hearing. However, when I read the passage after reading through some commentaries for ideas, it was verse 11 that stuck out to me and the one I believe God wants me to discuss in this post.
The events I believe have most made me the person I am today are the ones that caused me a lot of pain. These events were not fun when I was in the midst of them, and I am sure in some ways I am still negatively affected by them. At the same time, I have done my best to overcome them and become a better person in spite of them. The quote that has become my life’s motto is, “It’s not the sun that causes you to grow, it’s the rain.” I found this on the Twitter page of Corbette Jackson, a country singer from southwest Georgia. Although I discovered the quote months after it was posted, it was ironically posted on a day I was happy to see end.
In life, I have had no choice but to drink from the one cup that was given to me. Good thing I had Someone looking out for me and guiding me during the hard times because I never would have come out on top any other way. I have studied enough about criminals and watched a fair amount of episodes of Intervention to know things could have gone very differently. Yeah, His working in my life this way does not give me that, “I hit rock bottom and then Jesus entered into my life” testimony that impresses people and may lead them to Christ, but I am perfectly alright with the fact that I did not have to experience rock bottom to believe and live a life of which I can be proud.
If I knew this was my last week on Earth, I would sit down with the people who made my life more difficult than it had to be and hear their side of the story. Maybe if I had the opportunity to walk a mile in their shoes I would be more understanding of why they acted the way they did and why they said the things they said. After all, a book without any pages missing is easier to read than a book missing every other page.
Who in your life do you need to forgive?
What is one instance in your life when you know His guidance helped you through it?
What is one way you changed after accepting Christ into your life?
Ok, put your Bible down and live this week like it was the last.
by Jennifer Giblin