Yesterday my husband and I hit a milestone. We attended our last service at our home church. He has been there right alongside his dad for twenty or so years and I have been attending since 1993. Time sure flies. I looked around the congregation and felt a mixture of feelings. So many memories flew through my mind at once. I was married in that church, dedicated every one of my babies there, witnessed my mother-in-law's funeral, and attended three family weddings. Josh and I were sent out to Haiti and returned a year later to weep and heal at that altar. Good times and bad we have shared in that sanctuary.
Joshua shared for the communion service about James and John's mother's request that they each be seated with Jesus. Jesus' response was that they had to be willing to drink from the cup of suffering. Doesn't sound too appealing to me and that was exactly the point of the message. We readily accept the blessings of God, but when the hardship comes we wonder where God is in the midst. Sounds to me like He might be the one pouring the drinks.
Thinking back over my time at Cliffdale the message was so appropriate for me. I have tasted both cups. Something Josh pointed out and I can witness to is that the blessings sure taste sweeter after having tasted the suffering. God knows what you need and He knows where He wants to take you. Trust Him and know that He will not let you endure more than you can take. Stretch your spiritual muscles and drink deeply what He pours out for you.