Take this cup


Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance. (Daniel 12:12-13 exc.)

For some reason, I dug out my old missions journal the other day. I knew this nugget was in there, and I needed to read it again this morning to encourage my soul, which shivers at the precipice of fear. Whatever is next, the biopsy, or the radioisotope MRI, or surgery...I simply do not want to do it. I simply want to live in my house with my family and not suffer. That is what I want. Yet I am willing to lay it down as an offering to the God I serve, even though on my lips is the prayer Jesus breathed in Gethsemane, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Take this cup from me. (Mark 14: 34 & 36 exc.)

This from the journal of my unmarried days as a nurse & missionary, August, 2002:

I feel as if you have once again taken me to the very edge of the world, somewhere where I end and You truly begin. Standing on the cliff today, in this foreign land, looking out over unfamiliar trees and an alien crystal azure, I feel Your wings underneath. Thank you for taking me to a place where I can sense how enormous Your love is. These billions of souls - You created, You love. We are Your possession, pride and passion. Here I see Your power moving. At home, in rooms with dying and tortured bodies, I feel the consuming depth of Your compassion. Here I feel the tenacity - resourceful spirit of mercy, giving, Your strong hold on each and every person in this world. Standing in Your palm would seem precarious, tenuous. Instead, I learn that I am really in Your grip...Your promise is to never let go. Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (John 10:28). I am here to find You, to test You, to ask You WHY we suffer? How can I hope to help, God. I am so desperately incapable. Yet only at a task so huge can I see Your strength and mercy. You amaze me. I feel the inexhaustible reserve of Your love spreading before me like an endless bridge swaying in the winds of my trial. With so many beloved faces flashing before my eyes, and the ache of longing to go on, to be with these loved ones - to go on without the pain of change. Yet knowing still that Your mercy, though unknowable, is complete. I know, too, that I was dead before and now breath life only because of Your grace. That if my eyes close to this heartbreaking, dear beauty, they open to the unimaginable. That I am only clay beneath the gracious hand of the Father, the master Potter. A vessel for the Spirit that makes life beautiful, and beloved, and bittersweet. I pray today for strength...that I never resent Your lessons or turn my face from You. That I go where you lead without hesitation. How can I not trust You, who assures me, No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. (I Corinthians 2:9)
Pondering the sea of pain we live in, I sing words with Tenth Avenue North again today. What does one more cancer matter? Why rescue me when others have died? I try to shy away from the selfish prayer that simply says, "Heal me because I am afraid" and truly have a spirit of willingness, "Heal me if I can bring You greater glory in some other way. Not my will, but Thine be done."

One tear in the driving rain,
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?
One life, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart
~listen in entirety here~