“The Same Amount of Faithful”
Maybe you’re familiar with this chaos of nothing certain. Maybe you’ve gone to bed not knowing what the next morning will bring, checking for signs of life the moments you wake up. A pregnancy or a child, a spouse or a friend; perhaps a relationship on life support.
You’ve been given a particularly bitter cup and you’ve asked the Lord to take it from you, asking yourself if you’re willing to drink it to the dregs if that is what He asks of you.
You’ve wanted to run, but known drinking from the cup in the Lord’s presence is better than escape. You lean in, knowing it will be the most difficult seasons of your life, like a tidal wave growing to slam you into the Rock. You know this suffering may save you.
Maybe you, like me, have learned over time to name this bitter cup Mercy.
Mercy was present as my first permanent thing passed away at the age of seven. My family was never the same, but God was at work.
Mercy was there as I navigated childhood with one parent in prison and as my dad’s new family happened in front of me. God was at work then, too.
Mercy sat with us in the waiting room that January afternoon in 2008 as we stood on the beach of calm waters, not knowing our sky would grow dark on the other side of the exam room door.
And Mercy was there when we groaned goodbyes to our little girl’s earthly body and returned home to a new, unwelcomed permanent.
It is God’s exquisite mercy that asks us to drink the cup of suffering. As we drink, with only our present circumstances in view, God is right there, faithful and at work, with all of eternity in view.
Allowing us to be pressed, but protecting us from being crushed.
Permitting persecution, but never abandoning.
Striking us down, but now destroying us (2 Cor 4:8-9)
Every day seems more fragile than the next. Every new wave slams into us, threatening to shake us loose, but because the Rock doesn’t move, neither do we. The Truth of God’s Word echoes in our ears and we go to sleep at night knowing whatever tomorrow holds – life or death or things present or things to come – nothing “will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Rom 8:39)
Our truth was the stillbirth of our daughter to Trisomy 9 when I was thirty-two weeks pregnant. Our truest Truth was that God was exactly the same amount of faithful then as He was when our son Oliver was born healthy two years earlier. And when our daughter Hazel was born healthy two years later.
God was just as faithful then as He was when He taught us about His grace as newlywed college students – and when He promised to make Abraham into a great nation, and to be Israel’s God because they would be His people.
No more. No less.
While everything else in our world changed, the Truth we found in God’s Word did not change. He did not change.
From the foundation of the world, one thing Did. Not. Change.
Our cup may be filled with something completely different tomorrow then it is today. Much to our chagrin, God is not bound by our planners. And so tonight, before we close our eyes, we pray and scribble across the pages of our agendas: Not my will, but Yours.
When we rise, we give thanks for whatever we find in our cup. We call it mercy – exquisite mercy. And because we read Truth, we know:
Nothing can separate us from Christ (Rom. 8:38-39)
Even if we pass through the fire, we will not be burned (Isa. 43:2)
The waves will not overcome us (Isa. 43:2)
And we know His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9)
We have learned to trust the One who fills our cups with sweet and bitter things. We know He may take the cup away, and He may ask us to drink it to the dregs, but He will never not be faithful.
Excerpt from Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams, She Reads Truth (Nashville, B&H Publishing Group, 2016), 83-85. Click here to get your copy!