It started with Clara and Carynne dangling their feet in the pool. We had just arrived at a friend's house and were relaxing on the back porch. The pool was wooing them and they just couldn't resist dangling their feet over the side. Still adorned in their Sunday morning dresses, they soon were walking along the expansive first step. Before I knew it the dresses were soaked and off they went splashing on the first step of the pool in nothing but their undies. Even though I was vigilantly watching the girls, I removed my watch in the event a rescue was in order. Mind you I too was still wearing my Sunday morning attire. As soon as I set my watch aside, I looked over and saw Clara out in the middle of the pool. She was not flailing about trying to reach the surface or panicking in any visible way. Instead, she calmly held her breath under the water awaiting my rescue. She had abandoned herself to her situation with complete and utter confidence that I would soon carry her out of the water.
Today I am reading John 18:1-18. This section is John's version of Jesus' arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. I think John best captures Jesus' spirit during this event. Empowered by the time He had spent with God in prayer and resolved to carry out God's will (See also Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42 and Luke 22:39-48), Jesus boldly goes out to meet His opposition (Verse 4). When Peter draws his sword, Jesus responds, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me? (Verse 11)" Immediately, Jesus whispers the application to my life into my heart:
- Stop Flailing and Wait Confidently - Just as Clara saw no need for alarm in the middle of the pool, Jesus never questioned whether His Father would rescue Him from the grave. Since coming to Memphis, there have been days and even weeks when I felt myself flailing. Since before my arrival, I have been praying for a mentor and an accountability group. Thusfar, God has provided neither. There is no need to be flustered when God's Hand is at work. Stop flailing, Shannon, and await God's rescue.
- Trust God's Timetable - Clara didn't know if it would be seconds or minutes before I dove in to her aid, but it didn't sway her level of confidence that my help was coming. Once I have fervently prayed to the Lord about an issue, I can rest in knowing His delivery is coming in His perfect timing. If I need the group of women I've prayed for, God will provide that or make it abundantly clear that He has another plan for this phase of my life. Either way He will provide His answer and not allow me to drown. Stop politely suggesting your timetable, Shannon, and accept His.
- Drink His Cup Every Time - Jesus had prayed that the cup of torture, death and atonement would pass from Him. Yet when the Father answered, "No", Jesus immediately accepted God's will and encouraged others to do the same. I am certain Clara would not have chosen the cup of being stranded in the middle of a pool, but she accepted her circumstances for what they were and allowed peace to rule in her heart. By contrast, how often I begin to drink from my own cup the minute God's cup is filled with something I don't want to drink. I could charge ahead of God and organize a group of women today and be meeting with them by tomorrow, but God wants me to drink from His cup not mine. Stop filling your own cup, Shannon, and await God's goodness to fill yours instead.
Sweet Jesus, You are enough for me. I don't have to drink the pool water while I await your rescue. I don't need to flail because You already see me out there amidst the water. Thank you for teaching me to trust Your plan, to wait for Your timing and to deeply drink whatever You pour into my cup.